James DiGioia

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Day of Sep 12th, 2020

  • Who is Speaking On Your Behalf?

    Prowling around Twitter like a roaring lion looking for an article to devour, a technical blog post to consume, a funny video to laugh at, a business post to bookmark, a software engineer to follow, I came across a video where the Vice Chairman of Morgan Stanley, Carla Harris was interviewed….

    Read at 12:01 am, Sep 12th

Day of Sep 11th, 2020

  • When They Came To An Oregon Town To Take Pictures Of The Fires, Armed Locals Thought They Were Antifa Arsonists

    They weren't. Gabriel Trumbly, a Portland videographer who has spent roughly 90 of the past 100 days capturing the protests, wanted to take footage of the forest fires raging in Oregon.

    Read at 11:32 pm, Sep 11th

  • Angry Upper West Siders Wanted Homeless "Scum" Out Of Their Neighborhood. De Blasio Took Their Side - Gothamist

    Angry Upper West Siders Wanted Homeless "Scum" Out Of Their Neighborhood. De Blasio Took Their Side The Lucerne Hotel, the red building, with scaffolding around it on Wednesday, September 9, 2020 Jen Chung / Gothamist For many New Yorkers, Mayor Bill de Blasio’s decision this week to evict several hundred homeless men living in the Lucerne Hotel signaled a shocking and sudden betrayal of principles. But for a small contingent of Upper West Side residents, who’d mounted a weeks-long pressure campaign against the new shelter, the news was greeted as a hard-fought victory. In a neighborhood Facebook group with 14,000 members, local residents had openly fantasized about an armed uprising against their homeless neighbors, counseled each other to use wasp spray and dog feces to make them feel unwelcome, and referred to people perceived as homeless as “trash,” “scum,” and “thugs.” At the end of last month, a noose was found outside the Lucerne Hotel, a message of intimidation aimed at homeless residents, according to some who saw it. Randy Mastro, the attorney and former deputy mayor to Rudy Giuliani who was hired by Upper West Siders to expel the shelter, praised the mayor’s decision this week a “testament to community organizing.” Other observers, including some in City Hall, said they felt de Blasio cowed to pressure from a vocal contingent of well-off Manhattan residents, who’d effectively wielded their power against a group without any. The mayor’s abrupt move will impact nearly 900 people, including 350 residents who will be kicked out of the Lucerne and a second hotel location in Long Island City, as well as 525 individuals who will be moved from existing family shelters to make room for the transfers. On Thursday, some people with disabilities were moved with little notice out of a Midtown family shelter to one in Canarsie, in order to clear space for the men from the Lucerne. One 28-year-old Lucerne resident, who asked that his first name be withheld to protect his identity from his employer, sighed with exhaustion when asked how he felt about his impending move in the coming days. “Here we go again. I’m like a nomad. Where the wind goes, you gotta go,” said Mr. Smith, who has a one-year-old daughter he’s supporting through minimum wage custodial work. “Money always gonna talk. Our opinion don’t even matter, our living arrangements don’t even matter. Nothing for nothing. We don’t have no say so. Remember, money rules the world.” Pietro Palumbo (left) and his friend Louis Pastores live in the Lucerne, an Upper West Side hotel that started housing homeless people in late July. Gwynne Hogan / Gothamist In screenshots of comments posted on Upper West Siders for Safe Streets obtained by Gothamist/WNYC, commenters schemed to make the neighborhood less livable for the new homeless residents. One member, Valerie Clark, who didn’t return a request for comment, told people to rub dog feces on benches so people wouldn’t sit on them. There are references to second amendment rights, and one commenter Jared Longhitano, who declined to comment further on what he had written when reached over the phone, proposed “having round the clock militias shooting these assholes.” He also suggested that residents “kick them in front of a bus if possible.” A screenshot from the Facebook group Upper West Siders for Safe Streets Several mentioned using wasp spray and where to buy it. “Forget pepper spray or mace,” wrote 60-year-old Clodette Mardini Sabatelle, who identifies herself on Instagram as a trustee with Community In Crisis, a federally-funded organization that aims to stop overdoses. “Use Hornet Spray and shoot in the eyes.” When asked about her comment, Sabatelle, who has lived on the Upper West Side for 16 years but spent most of the past two months at a New Jersey summer home, said she only meant that a person should use hornet spray in self-defense. “If somebody attacks you, then I would spray hornet spray, not just to randomly [spray it but] as another way of protecting yourself,” she said. “I’m definitely of the Black Lives Matter Movement. I definitely think there's systemic racism, however, I also think this was a bad decision.” A screenshot from the Facebook group Upper West Siders for Safe Streets Corrine Low, with UWS Open Hearts, a group formed to counter the animosity toward residents of the neighborhoods’ shelters, said the organization’s stated intent of wanting “safer streets” is a misnomer. “What they’re really calling for is safer streets for white people, because [they’re] making direct calls for violence against minority homeless residents,” she said. “This is what the mayor is capitulating to.” One of the group’s moderators, Jackie Moffett, claimed she was unaware of the vitriol within the group. “It is never the intention of this page to promote or accept violent, hateful or racist rhetoric,” she said. “Thank you for bringing this issue to our attention. We can and will strive to be even more diligent.” A Gothamist/WNYC reporter was promptly kicked out of the Facebook group after receiving the email. Members of UWS Open Hearts were camped out overnight outside the Lucerne on August 29th, when during the course of the evening, they found a noose hanging on the scaffolding in front of the hotel. Upper West Side residents said they found a noose outside the Lucerne during a sleep-out in late August Courtesy of UWS Open Hearts “My son was climbing on the scaffolding and I was watching him and he asked if he could play with a rope that he saw there,” recounted 47-year-old Melissa Sanchez. “I didn’t even believe what I was seeing. It was very clearly in the shape of a noose.” Several people who were there described police coming to the scene, reviewing security camera footage and determining they wouldn't investigate further, after they said it came from a construction site nearby. When asked about the incident, an NYPD spokesman said they didn’t have a report of the noose, adding that it would only be considered harassment “if someone took it the wrong way.” The NYPD has in the past ignored reports of nooses found in the five boroughs. . That same night, a man wearing a Trump hat also heckeld the crowd, chanting, “White Lives Matter,” and flashing a white power finger gesture, according to photos and video provided to Gothamist/WNYC. A man who shouted "white lives matter" at pro-shelter residents last month Courtesy of UWS Open Hearts When Mayor Bill de Blasio was asked about his sudden policy reversal at a press conference Thursday, he denied reporting in Politico New York that found he’d made the decision against the guidance of Social Services Commissioner Steven Banks. “The only disruption we had was at the worst of the pandemic, and now thank God, the worst is behind us,” he said. “There's fewer and fewer people in shelter, more room to work with. It's exactly the time to start getting out of hotels.” But several people in City Hall told Gothamist this wasn’t the case, adding that the decision to transfer the residents went against the advice of his health and social service agencies, and came with little notice. “It would be one one thing if everyone agreed, but there was no consensus,” a source in City Hall told Gothamist/WNYC. “In fact, consensus was the opposite, that the city was doing the right thing where it counts and standing up for our values.” The roughly 10,000 homeless New Yorkers who were moved into 61 other hotels—including three others on the Upper West Side—during the height of the COVID-19 crisis will not be relocated at this time, according to a DHS spokesperson. The weeks of targeted and relentless tabloid news coverage of the Lucerne have been stressful for shelter residents, said a 51-year-old resident, who declined to give his name. After he learned Tuesday night that he’d have to leave the Lucerne, he said he had trouble sleeping, fearing what was to come. “It was a whole lot of anxiety,” the man said. “I wish [de Blasio] would have taken into consideration that this is trauma on top of trauma.” “Is [the new] place going to be safe?,” he wondered. “Will the new community be just as up in arms as the current community?” NYC news never sleeps. Get the Gothamist Daily newsletter and don't miss a moment. Source: Angry Upper West Siders Wanted Homeless “Scum” Out Of Their Neighborhood. De Blasio Took Their Side – Gothamist

    Read at 10:27 pm, Sep 11th

  • Hands-on with Portals: seamless navigation on the web

    Hands-on with Portals: seamless navigation on the web Learn how the proposed Portals API can improve your navigation UX. May 6, 2019• Updated Jul 13, 2020 Making sure your pages load fast is key to delivering a good user experience. But one area we often overlook is page transitions—what our users see when they move between pages. A new web platform API proposal called Portals aims to help with this by streamlining the experience as users navigate across your site. Portals are currently experimental, but you can use them on your site today by taking part in the origin trial. See Portals in action: Seamless embeds and navigation with Portals. Created by Adam Argyle. What Portals enable Single Page Applications (SPAs) offer nice transitions but come at the cost of higher complexity to build. Multi-page Applications (MPAs) are much easier to build, but you end up with blank screens between pages. Portals offer the best of both worlds: the low complexity of an MPA with the seamless transitions of an SPA. Think of them like an <iframe> in that they allow for embedding, but unlike an <iframe>, they also come with features to navigate to their content. Seeing is believing: please first check out what we showcased at Chrome Dev Summit last year: With classic navigations, users have to wait with a blank screen until the browser finishes rendering the destination. With Portals, users get to experience an animation, while the <portal> pre-renders content and creates a seamless navigation experience. Before Portals, we could have rendered another page using an <iframe>. We could also have added animations to move the frame around the page. But an <iframe> won't let you navigate into its content. Portals close this gap, enabling interesting use cases. Try out Portals Enabling support during the origin trial phase Portals will be available an origin trial in Chrome 85. The origin trial is expected to end in Chrome 86. Origin trials allow you to try new features and give feedback on their usability, practicality, and effectiveness to the web standards community. For more information, see the Origin Trials Guide for Web Developers. To sign up for this or another origin trial, visit the registration page. Register for the origin trial Request a token for your origin. Add the token to your pages. There are two ways to do that: Add an origin-trial <meta> tag to the head of each page. For example, this may look something like: <meta http-equiv="origin-trial" content="TOKEN_GOES_HERE"> If you can configure your server, you can also add the token using an Origin-Trial HTTP header. The resulting response header should look something like: Origin-Trial: TOKEN_GOES_HERE Enabling via chrome://flags Try out Portals in Chrome 85 or 86 by flipping an experimental flag: chrome://flags/#enable-portals. During this early phase of the Portals experiment, we also recommend using a completely separate user data directory for your tests by setting the --user-data-dir command line flag. Once Portals are enabled, confirm in DevTools that you have the new shiny HTMLPortalElement. Implement Portals Let's walk through a basic implementation example. portal = document.createElement('portal'); portal.src = 'https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_Wide_Web'; portal.style = '...'; document.body.appendChild(portal); portal.activate(); It's that simple. Try this code in the DevTools console, the wikipedia page should open up. If you wanted to build something like we showed at Chrome Dev Summit which works just like the demo above, the following snippet will be of interest. const style = document.createElement('style'); style.innerHTML = ` portal { position:fixed; width: 100%; height: 100%; opacity: 0; box-shadow: 0 0 20px 10px #999; transform: scale(0.4); transform-origin: bottom left; bottom: 20px; left: 20px; animation-name: fade-in; animation-duration: 1s; animation-delay: 2s; animation-fill-mode: forwards; } .portal-transition { transition: transform 0.4s; } @media (prefers-reduced-motion: reduce) { .portal-transition { transition: transform 0.001s; } } .portal-reveal { transform: scale(1.0) translateX(-20px) translateY(20px); } @keyframes fade-in { 0% { opacity: 0; } 100% { opacity: 1; } } `; const portal = document.createElement('portal'); portal.src = 'https://wicg.github.io/portals/'; portal.classList.add('portal-transition'); portal.addEventListener('click', (evt) => { portal.classList.add('portal-reveal'); }); portal.addEventListener('transitionend', (evt) => { if (evt.propertyName == 'transform') { portal.activate(); } }); document.body.append(style, portal); It is also easy to do feature detection to progressively enhance a website using Portals. if ('HTMLPortalElement' in window) { const portal = document.createElement('portal'); ... } If you want to quickly experience what Portals feel like, try using uskay-portals-demo.glitch.me. Be sure you access it with Chrome 85 or 86 and turn on the experimental flag! Enter a URL you want to preview. The page will then be embedded as a <portal> element. Click on the preview. The preview will be activated after an animation. Check out the spec We are actively discussing the Portals spec in the Web Incubation Community Group (WICG). To quickly get up to speed, take a look at the explainer. These are the three important features to familiarize yourself with: The <portal> element: The HTML element itself. The API is very simple. It consists of the src attribute, the activate function and an interface for messaging (postMessage). activate takes an optional argument to pass data to the <portal> upon activation. The portalHost interface: Adds a portalHost object to the window object. This lets you check if the page is embedded as a <portal> element. It also provides an interface for messaging (postMessage) back to the host. The PortalActivateEvent interface: An event that fires when the <portal> is activated. There is a neat function called adoptPredecessor which you can use to retrieve the previous page as a <portal> element. This allows you to create seamless navigations and composed experiences between two pages. Let's look beyond the basic usage pattern. Here is a non-exhaustive list of what you can achieve with Portals along with sample code. Customize the style when embedded as a <portal> element if (window.portalHost) { } Messaging between the <portal> element and portalHost const portal = document.querySelector('portal'); portal.postMessage({someKey: someValue}, ORIGIN); window.portalHost.addEventListener('message', (evt) => { const data = evt.data.someKey; }); Activating the <portal> element and receiving the portalactivate event portal.activate({data: {somekey: 'somevalue'}}); window.addEventListener('portalactivate', (evt) => { const data = evt.data; }); Retrieving the predecessor window.addEventListener('portalactivate', (evt) => { const portal = evt.adoptPredecessor(); document.querySelector('someElm').appendChild(portal); }); Knowing your page was adopted as a predecessor portal.activate().then(() => { if (window.portalHost) { window.portalHost.addEventListener('message', (evt) => { }); } }); By combining all of the features supported by Portals, you can build really fancy user experiences. For instance, the demo below demonstrates how Portals can enable a seamless user experience between a website and third party embed content. Use cases and plans We hope you liked this brief tour of Portals! We can't wait to see what you can come up with. For instance, you might want to start using Portals for non-trivial navigations such as: pre-rendering the page for your best-seller product from a product category listing page. Another important thing to know is that Portals can be used in cross-origin navigations, just like an <iframe>. So, if you have multiple websites that cross reference one another, you can also use Portals to create seamless navigations between two different websites. This cross-origin use case is very unique to Portals, and can even improve the user experience of SPAs. Feedback welcome Portals are ready for experimentation in Chrome 85 and 86 and via the origin trial. Feedback from the community is crucial to the design of new APIs, so please try it out and tell us what you think! If you have any feature requests or feedback, please head over to the WICG GitHub repo. Last updated: Jul 13, 2020 Improve article Source: Hands-on with Portals: seamless navigation on the web

    Read at 10:02 pm, Sep 11th

  • 'BBQ Becky' doppelgänger interrupts black cosplayers at Dragon Con

    'BBQ Becky' doppelgänger interrupts black cosplayers in this iconic photo "Who invited you?" Image: Otis Casey Photography By Xavier Piedra2018-09-07 20:20:47 UTC An unexpected guest made an appearance at this year's Dragon Con in Atlanta, Georgia. During a photoshoot for the Black Geeks of Dragon Con, Jennifer Schulte aka BBQ Becky attempted to crash the party. Thankfully, it wasn't the real Schulte, but rather a woman who goes by Tazra Rose, that bore an uncanny resemblance to the infamous figure.  The real show is going on behind her, though, as a bunch of incredible black cosplayers side-eye her to oblivion. The photo was posted onto Facebook where it quickly got a lot of attention. The photographer behind the photo, Otis Casey, told Mashable that he was not expecting this kind of response after he uploaded the photo yesterday.  Image: Otis Casey Photography "Honestly I'm surprised that it has taken on a life of its own," Casey wrote in a Facebook message. "I like the response where Kilmonger is giving her the evil stare." Initially, Casey explained that this was not planned at all, and he was mainly focusing on taking group shots for the cosplay community to share. According to Casey, when several of the cosplayers saw Rose near the area, they encouraged her to join in and pose. "This incident did not ruin the festive mood during the shoot," Casey wrote. "Instead everyone got a huge laugh out of this. For that I am glad." However, in a recent interview with Big Shiny Robot, Rose explained that it was a friend's idea for her to go to the photoshoot dressed as BBQ Becky. Her friend had had gotten permission from the Black Geeks of Dragon Con to have Rose show up to the event in her BBQ gear, and they waited off to the side until it was ok for her to step in.  "We waited until the shoot was well underway before we went out there," Rose said. "At first, I stood off to the side with my jacket zipped up and the phone already to my ear. Once people noticed I was there, people were laughing and cheering and clapping. Everyone seemed to immediately get the joke." A large majority of the comments on the photo on Facebook have been positive, and many users are heralding it as "the best Dragon Con 2018 photo" ever. Tweets with the image have also began to trickle into Twitter as well. While the photo itself has amused people, Casey does recognize the bigger issue — the harsh reality that black Americans face on a constant basis.  "Unfortunately outside of Dragon Con this will eventually happen again minus the laughs," Casey admitted. To everyone's relief, there were zero actual Permit Patty's or BBQ Becky's lurking around, trying to find a minuscule reason to call the cops. And based off this photo alone, it's safe to say everyone absolutely killed their cosplays. "I honestly never meant to take any attention from the cosplayers at the photo shoot," Rose told Big Shiny Robot. "They deserve the spotlight much more than I do. I hope the picture going viral draw attention to the need for more representation for people of color in the cosplay and geek communities." We can all take a costume design lesson from this group. UPDATE: Sept. 11, 2018 This post has been updated to correct Tazra Rose's name and clarify the sequence of events that led to the photoshoot. Topics: Activism, Black Panther, Cosplayers, Culture, dragon*con, dragon-con-2018 Source: ‘BBQ Becky’ doppelgänger interrupts black cosplayers at Dragon Con

    Read at 09:59 pm, Sep 11th

  • Washington Heights & Inwood Development Corporation - The 36th Medieval Festival at Fort Tryon Park has been canceled

    Dear Friends, I hope you are staying well during this challenging time. This news is an extremely difficult one to share, but I am writing to let you know that we have made the heartbreaking decision to cancel the 36th Medieval Festival, October 4, 2020 at Fort Tryon Park. As much as we desperately want to go on as planned, we recognize that we must put the health and safety of our patrons, artists, performers, vendors and sponsors first. As we’ve watched the COVID-19 pandemic unfold, with all the uncertainty it holds for the near future, we could not in good conscience hold a festival that would bring artists and visitors from 10 states and two countries, and more than 70,000 people within close proximity to each other at Fort Tryon Park. For 35 years, the Medieval Festival has been WHIDC’s primary fundraiser; however, it has become clear that WHIDC cannot shoulder the projected financial burden due to the forecasted drop in Medieval Festival revenue and increase in Festival Expenses.  We appreciate the community’s, Fort Tryon Park Trust, and NYC Parks Foundation support and thank all the volunteers, vendors, and participants for making the event possible.  Most of all we would like to thank Peter Metralexis who has been the volunteer Festival Coordinator for the duration of the event.  As we move forward in search of new fundraising opportunities, we hope the community will continue to support Washington Heights and Inwood Development Corporation. Please stay tuned to our Instagram page for new Medieval Festival 2021 date!!! We will return 2021 to celebrate our 36th season bigger and better!!! Sincerely, Jahaira Guerrero, CCUE Executive Director Source: Washington Heights & Inwood Development Corporation – The 36th Medieval Festival at Fort Tryon Park has been canceled

    Read at 06:45 pm, Sep 11th

  • Black Lives Matter Protests Didn’t Contribute to the COVID-19 Surge

    Share on PinterestExperts say the outdoor demonstrations were in the sun and wind. In addition, people were in motion and most were wearing masks. Getty Images There isn’t evidence that Black Lives Matter protests have led to a noticeable increase in COVID-19 cases, despite early concerns from health officials. The reasons for the lack of transmission likely have to do with the protesters being outside in the wind and sun and most of them wearing masks. People who attend other outdoor events, such as going to the beach or a ball game, tend to share indoor facilities like bathrooms, shops, and restaurants. All data and statistics are based on publicly available data at the time of publication. Some information may be out of date. Visit our coronavirus hub and follow our live updates page for the most recent information on the COVID-19 outbreak. It’s an issue brought up by many people who support the reopening of businesses and the return of large gatherings in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. If there wasn’t an outcry about the spread of the novel coronavirus during the Black Lives Matter protests in late May and early June, why was there one when people returned to restaurants, nail salons, bars, and beaches? Weren’t the protests a potential “super spreader” of COVID-19? It’s a concern public health officials initially raised. “I do think there’s potential for this to be, unfortunately, a seeding event,” Dr. Robert R. Redfield, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), told Congress June 4. So have the Black Lives Matter protests led to a noticeable increase in COVID-19 cases? And if not, what has made them different from events such as a concert or a large wedding? Experts say the short answer to the first question is no. They say the answer to the second question reveals useful tips on what activities may be lower risk and how to participate in them safely as the country continues to balance a desire to return to normal with staying healthy. The protests began after a video of the killing of Minneapolis resident George Floyd by police officers sparked widespread condemnation and outrage. Streets in cities across the United States as well as around the world filled with demonstrators. People who had been told to limit activities outside the home in order to reduce the spread of the virus were now gathered in large groups and shouting, potentially spreading droplets containing the virus to the people around them. Those protests have resulted in some reforms in how cities and school districts use police departments, as well as the removal of some symbols seen as emblematic of the country’s systemic racism. One thing they don’t appear to have caused, though, is an uptick in COVID-19 cases. A paper looking at virus data from protests between May 26 and June 20, found “no evidence that urban protests reignited COVID-19 case growth during the more than three weeks following protest onset.” “We conclude that predictions of broad negative public health consequences of Black Lives Matter protests were far too narrowly conceived,” the authors of the National Bureau of Economic Research paper wrote. That lines up with what others have seen in various cities. “I have not seen any peer-reviewed research linking outdoor protests (or really any major outdoor events) to the surge here in Texas,” said Rodney Rohde, PhD, an associate dean for research at Texas State’s College of Health Professions who focuses on public health microbiology. Texas had been one of the first states to start reopening — including indoor facilities such as bars and movie theaters. But the surge of COVID-19 cases in recent weeks has led to a reimposition of some lockdown measures and a requirement in some regions to wear face masks when in public. The COVID-19 spike in Texas is likely tied to the reopening, not the protests, Rohde said. “One can look at the time frame post-protests regarding case counts, hospitalizations, and mortality to see if there may be a correlation. I have not seen that in my observations,” Rohde told Healthline. “However, if one looks to the research literature regarding ‘opening up too soon’ and gatherings in restaurants, bars, or similar locations… then we do see some published research around surges in cases and hospitalization, including some super spreader events,” he added. Rohde noted that “we are not in a second wave. We are just seeing a surge of cases from the first wave after we had flattened the curve.” In New York City, where the protests led to a citywide curfew, the story was similar. Jeffrey Shaman, PhD, director of Columbia University’s climate and health program, has been leading modeling projects over the past several months to project how the virus is likely to spread. In the wake of the protests, he did some modeling to try to understand how much they might contribute to the spread. The protests were outdoors, mostly during the day, and appeared to have a high proportion of people wearing masks. The models ran three scenarios based on how much these factors might have been able to reduce transmission: most, least, and moderate. “If we saw a moderate-sized reduction in transmissibility, we still would have seen a small spike,” Sharman told Healthline. “But we didn’t see that.” Now, 6 weeks after the protests began, the New York COVID-19 case numbers seem to line up with the model’s predictions about what would happen had transmission been low at the protests. “There wasn’t any change in case numbers that could be really attributed to an anomaly like the protests,” Shaman said. “And logically it doesn’t make sense that there would be.” There are a couple of elements to that logic. The biggest factor is the protests were outdoors. There’s also the fact that people were largely moving and exposed to the sun and wind. “In general, being outdoors does help, due to fresh circulation of air and the antiviral effects of the UV in sunlight, as well as the virus’s fragile nature with desiccation,” Rohde said. “This doesn’t mean the virus can’t be transmitted outdoors, but it’s certainly better than being in enclosed, indoor spaces with lots of people and low air turnover.” But there are nuances as to why these protests might have been safe while attending an outdoor event like, say, a baseball game or concert might not be. Memorial Day crowds at some beaches and parks sparked criticism — and led to cities such as Los Angeles and Miami closing beaches for the Fourth of July weekend. But it’s not necessarily being at the beach with other people that is the problem, Shaman said. It’s the facilities and interactions that are part of many people’s trips to the beach. “Going back to beaches and Memorial Day, my opinion is people out at the beach is not a big deal,” he said. “But ice cream shops, walking on a boardwalk without masks, going into the restaurants [becomes a problem]. So, in other words, it’s really the indoor dynamic that is problematic.” He called out bars especially, where it’s usually necessary to be in close proximity to others and to shout — and spread droplets — over music and chatter. The same would apply to a ball game or concert. Even though you’d be mostly outside, you’d be sharing bathrooms, shops, and walkways with others. And even when outside, you’d be mostly stationary and in a stadium that’s blocking much of the wind and sun, Shaman said — conditions that weren’t a part of the protests. Source: Black Lives Matter Protests Didn’t Contribute to the COVID-19 Surge

    Read at 06:32 pm, Sep 11th

  • Breakfast To Celebrate Immigrants In Washington Heights | Washington Heights, NY Patch

    Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez is hosting a breakfast on Saturday to celebrate the contributions made by immigrants in New York City. Source: Breakfast To Celebrate Immigrants In Washington Heights | Washington Heights, NY Patch

    Read at 03:58 pm, Sep 11th

  • The Finance 202: Publicly, Biden promises a Wall Street crackdown. Privately, his camp is offering reassurance.

    With 56 days until the election, not even Joe Biden's supporters know what his victory would mean for Wall Street.

    Read at 02:14 am, Sep 11th

Day of Sep 10th, 2020

  • How Bill de Blasio Abandoned Development

    Mayor Bill de Blasio (Getty) After six years of pushing for development, Mayor Bill de Blasio has been shying away from that agenda. Politico rounded up a string of examples to lay bare what has been increasingly clear to the real estate industry and the mayor’s own staff for a while: He’s not big on building any more. Case in point: After Amazon canceled plans to build a campus on the Queens waterfront, the city was in negotiations with developers to create housing, retail, open space and a school on the site. But last week de Blasio backed out after they refused his demand that they pay all the infrastructure costs, plus $75 million to relocate a city building. Other evidence cited by Politico: The mayor has yet to start the approval process for a long-awaited Gowanus rezoning that would create 8,000 new apartments. He acknowledges not much will happen before he leaves office on the Brooklyn-Queens streetcar project he proposed in 2016. And he cut his housing capital budget by more than $583 million this year. Politicians, builders and administration officials told Politico that the administration has become unapproachable — meetings are postponed, calls go unreturned and direction from city agencies is confusing. “It’s pretty clear to me that the administration has not prioritized development of their affordable, mixed-income housing or projects in neighborhoods that are about building a diverse, inclusive economy,” Alicia Glen, de Blasio’s former deputy mayor for housing and economic development, said recently. “And that’s a shame, because if you want to be the most inclusive and progressive city in the country, you need to be growing and actually building into that vision.” “Status quo means going backwards,” she added, echoing statements she made during a TRD Talk in June. The administration has, however, continued to pursue its rezoning of Inwood, which is expected to create thousands of apartments. City lawyers this summer won an appeal reinstating the new zoning after a lower court nullified it. They also won an appeal to allow four residential towers to be constructed on the Lower East Side. And the administration insists its capital spending was merely postponed, not canceled — although the mayor must leave office by the end of next year and will not be around to see that funding through. But it has not pushed plans to upzone Soho and Noho, Bushwick and the South Bronx, which have all met with local opposition. A source recently told The Real Deal that staffers eager to advance the administration’s housing agenda feel helpless and demoralized in light of de Blasio’s failure to lead on that front. [Politico] — Sasha Jones Source: How Bill de Blasio Abandoned Development

    Read at 12:44 pm, Sep 10th

  • Why So Many Police Are Handling the Protests Wrong | The Marshall Project

    MINNEAPOLIS — Last Wednesday, Marcell Harris was hit by a rubber bullet. He had joined the second day of protests in this city over the killing of George Floyd, a black man who died after a police officer kneeled on his neck for more than eight minutes while bystanders filmed. Though these protests began with peaceful demonstrations outside the city’s 3rd Precinct, interactions between police and protesters had escalated. Police unleashed pepper spray, projectiles and tear gas. Protesters threw water bottles, built barricades and destroyed nearby property. Harris said he had used his backpack as a shield and maneuvered close enough to take the baton of the officer who shot him. On Thursday night, he returned to the same spot to watch the precinct burn. With no police presence to be seen, he and other protesters were celebrating a victory. “I’m nonviolent,” he said. “But this feels emotional. George Floyd popped the bubble. It feels like the beginning of the end.” The end of what? “What we’ve been going through,” he said, referring to heavy-handed and often deadly policing of African Americans. “All the bullshit.” Watching a peaceful protest turn into something much less palatable is hard. There has been a lot of hard the past few days, as people in dozens of cities have released pent-up anger against discriminatory police tactics. Cars and buildings have burned. Store windows have been smashed. Protesters and police have been hurt. When protests take a turn like this we naturally wonder … why? Was this preventable? Does anyone know how to stop it from happening? Turns out, we do know some of these answers. Researchers have spent 50 years studying the way crowds of protesters and crowds of police behave—and what happens when the two interact. One thing they will tell you is that when the police respond by escalating force—wearing riot gear from the start, or using tear gas on protesters—it doesn’t work. In fact, disproportionate police force is one of the things that can make a peaceful protest not so peaceful. But if we know that (and have known that for decades), why are police still doing it? “There’s this failed mindset of ‘if we show force, immediately we will deter criminal activity or unruly activity’ and show me where that has worked,” said Scott Thomson, the former chief of police in Camden, New Jersey. “That's the primal response,” he said. “The adrenaline starts to pump, the temperature in the room is rising, and you want to go one step higher. But what we need to know as professionals is that there are times, if we go one step higher, we are forcing them to go one step higher.” Interactions between police and protesters are, by their very nature, tough to study. Even when researchers get a good vantage point to observe protests in the real world—for example, by embedding within a crowd—the data that comes out is more descriptive and narrative as opposed to quantitative. Some kinds of protests are highly organized with top-down plans that are months in the making. Others, like many of the events across America this past week, are spontaneous outpourings of grief and anger. The social and political context of the time and place also affect what happens. Even a single protest isn’t really a single protest. “You have lots of mini protests happening in many places,” said Edward Maguire, a professor of criminology and criminal justice at Arizona State University. “There’s different dynamics. Some peaceful. Some not. And different police tactics.” In Baltimore on Saturday, for example, a police lieutenant mollified a crowd by reading out loud the names of victims of police brutality, while protesters outside City Hall threw bottles at police in riot gear and police used tear gas on the crowd, WBFF-TV reported. But just because there’s no data about protests that can be easily compared in a chart doesn’t mean we’re bereft of information, said Pat Gillham, a professor of sociology at Western Washington University. There’s 50 years of research on violence at protests, dating back to the three federal commissions formed between 1967 and 1970. All three concluded that when police escalate force—using weapons, tear gas, mass arrests and other tools to make protesters do what the police want—those efforts can often go wrong, creating the very violence that force was meant to prevent. For example, the Kerner Commission, which was formed in 1967 to specifically investigate urban riots, found that police action was pivotal in starting half of the 24 riots the commission studied in detail. It recommended that police eliminate “abrasive policing tactics” and that cities establish fair ways to address complaints against police. Experts say the following decades of research have turned up similar findings. Escalating force by police leads to more violence, not less. It tends to create feedback loops, where protesters escalate against police, police escalate even further, and both sides become increasingly angry and afraid. “Do we know [this] in the way that you know if you put two chemicals together things explode?” said John Noakes, professor of sociology, anthropology and criminal justice at Arcadia University. “No. But there is a general consensus.” De-escalation, of course, does not guarantee that a protest will remain peaceful, and when protests take an unpredictable turn, it can be challenging for police to estimate the appropriate level of force. Former law-enforcement officials also said good policing of demonstrations isn’t as simple as just showing up with an approachable demeanor. “The time to make friends isn’t when you need them,” Thomson said. “You have to be in front of it." James Ginger, a veteran police monitor who is now overseeing the Albuquerque Police’s settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice, agreed that only this longer-term trust-building exercise works. “Trying to find folks at the last minute that you can put out there in soft clothes and talk to people, frankly and in my opinion, wouldn’t work that well,” Ginger said. “You’ve got to till the soil before you can grow the beans.” Still, if researchers know it’s not a good idea for police to use force against protests and demonstrations, and that information has been available for decades, why do we still see situations like this happening all over the country? That part is harder to answer. At one point, in the 1980s and 1990s, many police departments in the U.S. did try different strategies, Noakes and Maguire said. The “negotiated management” model of protest policing called for officers to meet with protesters in advance to plan events together to specify the times, locations and activities that would happen, even when that included mass arrests. “There was a time when the playbook was much more straightforward. The police would meet with the organizers of the protest, and they would lay out ground rules together that would provide for an opportunity for protesters to do exactly what they have a right to do,” said Ronal Serpas, a former police chief in New Orleans and Nashville who’s now a professor of criminology at Loyola University in New Orleans. But the era of negotiated management basically fell apart after the World Trade Organization protests in Seattle in 1999, when protesters blocked streets, broke windows and successfully shut down the WTO meeting and stalled trade talks. When protesters violated the negotiated terms, police responded with tear gas and rubber bullets and took away the wrong lessons, Maguire said. “What a lot of people took from that in policing is, we can’t trust these people. We need to be smarter and overwhelm them to nip these things in the bud,” he said. “We sort of went backwards.” Of course, as Gillham pointed out, negotiating and managing a protest can’t really work if the protest wasn’t organized ahead of time. That goes double, he said, if the topic of the protest is police brutality. It’s hard to negotiate with someone about the best way to demand they be fired. Instead, it’s become normal in the U.S. for police departments to revert to tactics that amplify tensions and provoke protesters, Maguire said, including wearing intimidating tactical gear before its use would be warranted. Maguire does training for police officers and has tried, for years, to get buy-in on the idea that there could be a different way. “I have good relationships with police and I’ve been working with them for 25 years, and I’ve never experienced pushback like I do on this,” Maguire said. De-escalation strategies definitely exist. Anne Nassauer, a professor of sociology at Freie Universität in Berlin, has studied how the Berlin Police Department handles protests and soccer matches. She found that one key element is transparent communication—something Nassauer said helps increase trust and diffuse potentially tense moments. The Berlin police employs people specifically to make announcements in these situations, using different speakers, with local accents or different languages, for things like information about what police are doing, and another speaker for commands. Either way, the messages are delivered in a calm, measured voice. Communication is also a cornerstone of what police know as “the Madison Model,” created by former Madison, Wisconsin, chief of police David Couper. His strategy for dealing with protesters was to send officers out to talk with demonstrators, engage, ask them why protests are made, listen to their concerns and, above all, empathize. Not all police officers trust this model, however. “When you have overly aggressive crowds you have to address them,” said Anthony Batts, who led departments in Long Beach and Oakland, California, as well as Baltimore. Batts was police commissioner during the violent clashes between police and protesters that followed the 2015 death of Freddie Gray in Baltimore police custody. Reached by text, Batts said that certain events, like fires and police retreats, “inspire” crowds. He said from his point of view, methods like the Madison model make crowds “go ballistic.” He said he was speaking generally, and that he does not advocate a harsh police approach to the ongoing demonstrations. A lot of this pushback from police has to do with some legitimate officer safety concerns related to de-escalation, Maguire said. “But we make the argument that [de-escalation] makes officers more safe, by reducing violent confrontations with protesters. If officers come into a situation already wearing protective body armor and face shields, that can make protesters feel uncomfortable and under attack long before there’s any kind of confrontation,” Maguire said. It’s also just hard to change police culture. Maguire compared it to trying to change hospital procedures by using evidence-based medicine. Even if the evidence is, “don’t perform this surgery in that way or someone could die,” it can still take 20 years for the new technique to be widely adopted. The disconnect between rank and file and executive leadership—commonly cited as an impediment to policing reform—also seems to get in the way of improving policing of protests. Take the Atlanta Police Department as an example. On Saturday the city’s chief Erika Shields earned plaudits for meeting face to face with protesters, empathizing with their grief and fear, and even reprimanding some of her own officers: “I’m standing here because what I saw was my people face to face with this crowd and everyone is thinking, ‘How can we use force to diffuse it,’ and I'm not having that.” But mere hours later, her department was trending on social media again—this time because officers had used tasers to force two college students out of their vehicle, even though they did not appear to be posing any threat. That, experts say, speaks to a cultural attitude that is endemic to the profession, and is hard to change with new chiefs or rules. Thomson encountered this when he tried to make change in Camden. The police department was so dysfunctional that the city took the unprecedented step of disbanding the force and reconstituting a whole new agency from scratch. “When I had the opportunity to build a new police department, I was able to do in three days what would normally take me three years to do, because of work rules, because of the bureaucracy of collective bargaining agreements—there are a lot of impediments to reform,” Thomson said. Couper, the creator of the Madison Method, said, “It’s this whole attitude of, ‘We keep order because we kick ass, and it’s us against them.’ (...) We've got to root those people out and say, ‘Look, this is the job that we expect. This is how a democracy is policed. If you can't buy into it. I'm sorry. You just have to find another job.’” This story was updated to include additional comments from Anthony Batts. The latest on coronavirus and the justice system. Source: Why So Many Police Are Handling the Protests Wrong | The Marshall Project

    Read at 12:43 pm, Sep 10th

  • Opinion | Strike. This Could Be Our Last Stand. - The New York Times

    If we can’t get our government to help us now, when will we ever? Credit...Getty Images Labor Day hit with an extra knife-twist of cruel irony this year, in an America that is barely trying to pretend anymore that the plight of tens of millions of working people merits national concern. On Friday, the government announced a slowing recovery from the job losses and economic shutdown caused by the pandemic. Nearly 14 million Americans are now unemployed, and almost eight million more are euphemistically called “involuntary part-time,” meaning they would work more if there were enough work. In March, as part of a wider stimulus, Congress expanded unemployment aid by $600 per week, a plan that scholars say may have temporarily reduced the nation’s poverty rate. As of mid-August, about 29 million Americans were receiving some form of unemployment assistance. But the $600-per-week bonus ran out in July, and Senate Republicans have rejected Democrats’ bill to extend the payments. The G.O.P. is now working on its own more limited plan, though several Republican senators are reluctant to support even that. Inaction may prove disastrous. Beth Ann Bovino, chief U.S. economist for S & P Global, told The Times last week that federal aid was meant as a kind of economic bridge through uncertain times, but, she added, “it looks like the ravine has widened and the bridge is halfway built, so there are a lot of people stranded.” Bovino’s image suggests a way out of this mess: Workers should band together and demand, collectively, a bridge across the ravine. To put it more plainly: It’s time for a general strike. Actually, it’s time for a sustained series of strikes, a new movement in which workers across class and even political divides press not just for more unemployment aid but, more substantively, a renewed contract for working in an economy that is increasingly hostile to employees’ health and well-being. This may be the American worker’s last stand: If we can’t get our government to help us now, when will we ever? The political case for an expanded safety net is drop-dead obvious. Through no fault of their own, because their government failed to keep the nation safe, millions of Americans have lost jobs, they have lost or may soon lose health coverage, they may lose housing, and many are going without food. Others are facing threats not just to their livelihoods but their lives. Schoolteachers, college professors, restaurant workers, retail workers, meatpackers and others are being pushed to return to work even though it’s far from clear that doing so is safe. Millions more are suffering extreme versions of the Sisyphean task of achieving work-life balance — the high cost and lack of access to quality child care, for instance, has become a consuming worry of just about every parent in the nation. It is well within the grasp of the mighty federal government to alleviate many of these problems, and economists generally agree that urgent federal aid would stimulate wider economic activity, benefiting even those of us who do feel economically secure. Passing extra benefits should not be a hard call; in the most terrible economic climate since the Great Depression, it is just about the least the government could do. And yet our political system is in a state of paralysis. Even worse, the government’s failure to mitigate this suffering is somehow not the main story of the day — nor even, it seems, a pressing issue in the presidential election. The speaker of the House’s haircut has gotten more coverage, recently, than the millions of people looking for work. Why has the plight of American workers received so little attention? There are some obvious reasons. For decades, corporations waged a sustained assault on labor unions. The assault has worked. Unions were once a key voice of political advocacy for low-income Americans; their decline in membership has left them with far less political power, allowing politicians to more easily ignore working-class voters. Yet another factor is the corrosive stratification caused by rising inequality. American workers across the class spectrum face many similar problems — expensive or inaccessible health care, child care, loosening workplace safety standards, and lax protections against being fired, among other things. But intense ideological and class polarization limits our ability to organize across these divides. For many wealthy Americans, the recession is all but over. Even with recent dips, the stock market has recovered much of its losses. Car sales are down — but the cars that are selling are more expensive than ever before. Billionaires are doing better than ever. These stark class divisions mean that wealthy Americans are often insulated from the plight of the poor. What does it mean to be out of work or poor in pandemic America? Nearly “one in eight households doesn’t have enough to eat,” The Times Magazine reported Sunday, alongside a searing collection of images by Brenda Ann Kenneally, a journalist who has been traversing the world’s wealthiest country to document the lives of its hungry multitudes. Our culture is now so fragmented that it’s possible to live a full life in America blissfully ignorant of our neighbors going hungry. But I’m newly hopeful for change. For much of 2020, the labor movement has been building momentum. In May, essential workers at Amazon, Instacart and other e-commerce and delivery companies staged a one-day national strike demanding better protections and higher pay. In July, thousands of workers from a range of industries walked off the job in support of the Black Lives Matter movement. At the other end of the pay scale, professional basketball players got their league to adopt a number of social-justice initiatives after they went on strike last month to protest racial inequality and police brutality. Last week, several large unions announced they are considering authorizing work stoppages to push for concrete measures to address racial injustice. Strikes won’t solve our problems overnight. But in the long history of American labor, including in the civil rights movement, walkouts have been an indispensable political tool, because when they get going, they’re hard to stop. Strikes bring about economic and social change the way water channels through canyon rock — forcefully, relentlessly and with time. Office Hours With Farhad Manjoo Farhad wants to chat with readers on the phone. If you’re interested in talking to a New York Times columnist about anything that’s on your mind, please fill out this form. Farhad will select a few readers to call. Source: Opinion | Strike. This Could Be Our Last Stand. – The New York Times

    Read at 12:29 pm, Sep 10th

  • A Supercomputer's Covid-19 Analysis Yields a New Way to Understand the Virus | Elemental

    Web server is returning an unknown error There is an unknown connection issue between Cloudflare and the origin web server. As a result, the web page can not be displayed. Ray ID: 5d056ec6adb5ccfa Your IP address: 167.71.177.88 Error reference number: 520 Cloudflare Location: Newark Source: A Supercomputer’s Covid-19 Analysis Yields a New Way to Understand the Virus | Elemental

    Read at 01:39 am, Sep 10th

Day of Sep 9th, 2020

  • The Engineer/Manager Pendulum – charity.wtf

    .entry-header Lately I’ve been doing some career counseling for people off Twitter (long story). The central drama for many people goes something like this: “I’m a senior engineer, but I’m thinking about being a manager. I really like engineering, but I feel like I’m just solving the same problems over and over and it seems like the real problems are people problems. I have to be a manager to get promoted. I hope it isn’t terrible, once I make the switch. I hear it’s terrible.” I’ve been meaning to write this post for a while. There’s a lot but let’s start with: Fuck the whole idea that only managers get career progression. And fuckkkk the idea you have to choose a “lane” and grow old there.  I completely reject this kind of slotting. “Your advice is bad and you should feel bad”: The best frontline eng managers in the world are the ones that are never more than 2-3 years removed from hands-on work, full time down in the trenches. The best individual contributors are the ones who have done time in management. And the best technical leaders in the world are often the ones who do both. Back and forth.  Like a pendulum. I’ve done this a few times myself now; start out as an early or first infra engineering hire, build the stack, then build the team, then manage the team, then … leave and start it all over again. I get antsy, I get restless. I start to feel like I know what I’m doing (… a telltale sign something’s wrong). It’s a good cycle for people who like early stage companies, or have ADD. But I don’t see people talking about it as a career path. So I’m here to advocate for it, as an intentional and awesome way of life. There are lots of people who do both well - but serially. Not simultaneously. — Sarah Mei (@sarahmei) May 11, 2017 (h/t to @sarahmei who was tweetstorming this up at the EXACT SAME TIME as i was writing this.  Yes Virginia, internet feminists ARE linked by a mystical hive brain.) On being a manager (of technical projects) Promoting managers from within means you get those razor sharp skills from the people who just built the thing. That gives them credibility, while they struggle with their newly achieved incompetence in a different role. That’s one of the only ways you can achieve the temporary glory of a hybrid manager+tech lead. This is an unstable combination, because your engineering skills and context-sharpness are decaying the longer you do it. You can only really improve at one of these things at a time: engineering or management.  And if you’re a manager, your job is to get better at management.  Don’t try to cling to your former glory. Management is highly interruptive, and great engineering — where you’re learning things — requires blocking out interruptions. You can’t do these two opposite things at once.  As a manager, it is your job to be available for your team, to be interrupted. It is your job to choose to hand off the challenging assignments, so that your engineers can get better at engineering. 5. Both code and people require the same thing to thrive: focused, sustained attention. No one does both well. — Sarah Mei (@sarahmei) May 11, 2017 On being a tech lead (of people): Conversely: the best tech leads in the world are always the ones who done time in management. This is not because they’re always the best programmers or debuggers; it’s because they know how to get shit done, which means they know how to communicate and manage other people. A tech lead is a manager … but their first priority is achieving the task at hand, not grooming and minding the humans who work on it. They still need the full manager toolset.  They’ll need to know how to rally people and teams and motivate them, or how to triage and restart a stalled project that everybody dreads. They still need to connect the dots between business objectives and technical objectives, and break down big objectives  into components. They need to be able to size up a junior engineer’s ability and craft a meaningful assignment, one that pushes their boundaries without crushing them … then do the same for another twenty contributors. This is management work, from the slightly shifted perspective of “Get Thing X Done” not “care for these people”. So these tech leads usually spend more time in meetings than building things, and they will bitch about it but do it anyway, because writing code is not the best use of their time.  Tech is the easy part, herding humans is the harder part. Senior engineers who have both these toolsets are the kind of tech leads you can build an org around, or a company around. They get shit done. And they are rare. Almost all of them have spent considerable time in management. The Pendulum We don’t talk about this nearly enough: the immense breadth and strength that accrues to engineers who make a practice of going back and forth. Being an IC is like reverse-engineering how a company works with very little information. A lot of things seem ridiculous, or pointless or inefficient from the perspective of a leaf node. . Being a manager teaches you how the business works.  It also teaches you how people work. You will learn to have uncomfortable conversations. You will learn how to still get good work out of people who are irritated, or resentful, or who hate your guts.  You will learn how to resolve conflicts, dear god will you ever learn to resolve conflicts.  (Actually you’ll learn to YEARN for conflicts because straightforward conflict is usually better than all the other options.) You’ll go home exhausted every day and unable to articulate anything you actually did.  But you did stuff. You’ll miss the dopamine hit of fixing something or solving something.  You’ll miss it desperately. One last thing about management. There’s a myth that makes it really hard for people to stop managing, even when it makes them and everyone around them miserable.  And that’s the idea that management is a promotion. Management is NOT a promotion. 1. Becoming a manager is not a promotion - it's a lateral move onto a parallel track. You're back at junior level in many key skills. — Sarah Mei (@sarahmei) May 11, 2017 Seriously, fuck that so hard. It is SUCH an insidious myth, and it leads to so many people managing even though they hate managing and have no business managing, and also starves the senior eng pool of the great mentors and elder wizards we need. Management is not a promotion, management is a change of profession. And you will be bad at it for a long time after you start doing it.  If you don’t think you’re bad at it, you aren’t doing your job. Managing because it feeds your ego is a terrific way to be sure that your engineers get to report to someone miserable and resentful, someone who should really be writing code my feelings on having to only manager OR engineer for the rest of my life or finding something else that brings them joy. There’s nothing worse than reporting to someone forced into managing.  Please don’t be one of the reasons people burn out hard on tech. It isn’t a promotion, so you don’t have any status to give up. Do it as long as it makes you happy, and the people around you happy. Then stop. Go back to building things. Wait til you get that itch again. Then do it all over again. <3 Invalid tweet id Like this: Like Loading... .entry-content The Engineer/Manager Pendulum #post-## Post navigation .nav-links .navigation #comments Source: The Engineer/Manager Pendulum – charity.wtf

    Read at 10:44 pm, Sep 9th

  • Seven Plus or Minus Three – Rands in Repose

    A common question I am asked, “How big should the team be?” My immediate response: Seven plus or minus three. There is a not a lot of hard theory behind this guideline, just common sense. To understand my reasoning, let’s do a little math. Let’s first assume you have seven folks on your team and that you spend time every week investing in each individual. At least 30 minutes for each person who reports to you via a 1:1 meeting. That’s three and a half hours – almost a half a day per week that is now properly invested in the team. We’re going to need add a buffer for the inevitable random shit that emerges from a team on a weekly basis. I’m not talking about scheduled investment, I’m talking about the unexpected dispute that erupts between two teams, I’m talking about when Frank just quits, I’m talking about the unexpected work where you have to drop everything and immediately react. It doesn’t happen on every team every week, but when it does develop, it requires your full and immediate attention. How about 15 minutes per team member? That takes us to a guaranteed five hours and fifteen minutes now devoted to the team. This doesn’t include your staff meeting, design reviews, or other essential meetings, this is direct weekly investment in your direct reports. Seven feels about right to me. Three quarters of one day a week to make sure folks are being heard, where you are sharing valuable context, and you are getting ahead of emerging issues. Thing is: you are kicking ass as a lead. More importantly, you’ve got seven directs and they, too, are kicking ass. You are fully and competently delegating to them and the velocity of the team is recognized as increasing. This is called success and success is always rewarded with additional responsibility and in that delightful haze of success you suddenly inherit three more teams which brings your directs to 10. Congratulations. If we stick with our weekly investment of 45 minutes per team member, you’d jump to seven hours and thirty minutes of weekly proactive team investment, but here’s where it becomes harder. Our 15 minute random shit buffer does not scale linearly with team size, it grow more exponentially. Yes, these estimates are more art than science, but as your team grows, so does its complexity. Each individual and team added to your portfolio brings with it their products, personalities, and politics and that means more random shit. At 10 direct reports, I’m upping our random shit buffer to 30 minutes per person. We’re now at 10 hours per week on team investment. You might be able to absorb this time in your schedule. Many do. An equal amount take a look at their increasingly complicated calendar and think, you know, I could meet with my team every other week. BAM. You’re back down to five 1:1s per week at 30 minutes a pop. Two and a half hours. No problem. Incorrect. You still have to account for the random shit buffer. Remember, this is time to react to the random shenanigans that emerge out of a team of people and not only is it guaranteed to occur, it’s your responsibility to aggressively handle these shenanigans. So two and a half hours plus another five for random shit. You’re still basically at a full day of team investment each week. It is somewhere around this team size where leaders, especially new leaders, screw it up and to understand how they screw it up, you have to understand the relative value of the two buckets of time we’ve be allocating. You’ve got 1:1 time and you’ve got random shit time. Which of the two investments are a better investment of your time? Your gut instinct might be that random shit time is more important because it has this sense of urgency about it. Frank is quitting. Two teams are fighting. Something urgently needs to happen and you appear to be the best person to handle this situation, so you do. Immediately. What could be a better use of your time? I’ll tell you: not letting the random shit situation occur in the first place. High tech is in an incredible fucking hurry because we’re deathly afraid of becoming irrelevant, of being replaced, or being perceived as mediocre. As everyone is rushing around making sure that irrelevance is effectively avoided, we learn to react quickly… to everything. Here’s that response to your email at 11pm! I’ll be the first to speak at the meeting! Look at me, I am walking quickly every which way that I walk! It is this hurry-based reactive mindset that might give you the illusion that random shit time is more important than 1:1 time, but I would argue that properly and consistently deployed 1:1 time eliminates future random shit time. Because you met three weeks ago and discussed what appeared to be a listless Frank, you moved him to a new team and he didn’t quit. Those teams are not fighting because you met with each of their leads last month and made sure each team felt heard. The proactive minutes you spend each week with your team might not contain as much energy, but they are far healthier minutes than unexpected, unhealthy, and avoidable high fructose random shit minutes. My rules around 1:1s for direct reports are: 30 minutes (at least). Every week. No matter what. While it is not the only lens to look through when designing an optimal team size, it’s my belief the moment that when it becomes a struggle to spend 30 minutes a week with each of the folks on your team, it’s time to consider your team might be too big. New managers can handle less people, experienced managers more. Seven plus or minus three. Source: Seven Plus or Minus Three – Rands in Repose

    Read at 09:44 pm, Sep 9th

  • How NYC's new landlord-tenant mediation program works

    New York City renters experiencing issues with their landlords have a new avenue for settling those disagreements: In July, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that the Mayor’s Office to Protect Tenants (MOPT) would partner with the city’s nonprofit Community Dispute Resolution Centers (CDRCs) to cre

    Read at 03:58 pm, Sep 9th

  • The primordial mutiny of anarcho-Blackness | ROAR Magazine

    Anarchism has long caught a bad rap, being likened to chaos and a negatively connoted devolution into pandemonium — “Things were pure anarchy!” we often hear. But anarchism, in fact, names a mode of relating to the world in non-statist, non-authoritative and directly participatory ways. That is, anarchism commits to engendering a world in which the state — understood as the primary progenitor of violence and not only an institution (or many institutions) but a way of relating to others as well — is abolished; no one has “authority” over others, which is to say that we are all in non-hierarchized relation to one another; and any and all rules or ethics that might affect someone ought to be decided upon in conversation with that person. Black anarchism, then, is not simply Black people who agree with the aforementioned. Rather, Black anarchism refers to a qualitative shift in what anarchism is and does. This shift is what I have deemed “Anarcho-Blackness.” Marquis Bey – “Anarcho-Blackness: Notes Towards a Black Anarchism” (AK Press, 2020) Anarcho-Blackness is the analytic I use to think through Black anarchism. Someone like Carl Levy focuses on the “-ism” of anarchism, which defines anarchism as a social movement that arose in a specific time and location and is identifiable as a social movement with members and the like. For me to focus on the anarcho- is to emphasize the spirit of anarchic tendencies and modes of relation. It is a focus on a world-making sensibility rather than a particular political cadre of writing and movements. Constitutive of this is the Black feminism of the Combahee River Collective (CRC), for example. While they call themselves socialists and not anarchists, they still, in my estimation, anarchize socialism proper. That is, since anarchists hold that “until all are free then no one is free,” we can note the express anarchism of the CRC when they argue that “if black women were free, it would mean that everyone else would have to be free since black women’s freedom would necessitate the destruction of all the systems of oppression.” In addition to Black feminism, my conception of Black anarchism necessitates that one also bear a queer and trans relationship to sociality because the imposition of gender might be the Chief Executive Officer of the state, so to deviate from and undermine the state requires a deviation and undermining of gender’s coercive regime. Black anarchism’s Black feminism, queerness and transness demands that one bears such a relationship to normativity — and specifically normative gender — which is not merely the clothes one wears or the inflection in one’s voice but a relative mobilization of subjective gendered effect. To express a trans relationship to (gendered) normativity is to socio-politically deploy one’s own gender as well as gendered sociality in non-normative, subversive ways. This is how we might begin to conceptualize Black anarchism. The following is an excerpt from “Anarcho-Blackness: Notes Toward a Black Anarchism” by Marquis Bey, now available from AK Press. Unblack Anarchism portends the promise of the absence of authority/order…[it] is intent on creating mayhem against those epistemological and metaphorical foundations that have so violently scripted Black people and communities as a people without history, without knowledge, and without dream. — H.L.T. Quan, “Emancipatory Social Inquiry: Democratic Anarchism and the Robinsonian Method” William Godwin, Max Stirner, Mikhail Bakunin, Pyotr Kropotkin, Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, Emma Goldman and Errico Malatesta did not really talk about Blackness, were not really concerned with Blackness, did not bring Blackness to bear on their thinking and did not think that Blackness’s specificity demanded attention. Not to mention that, save, really, for Goldman, anarchists did not really think about the specificities of gender, let alone how gender circulates necessarily within capitalist and white supremacist formations — how race and class, that is, are constituted through and by gender. It was capitalism this, government that, authority, individualism, rulers, the State and on and on. But I am actually quite uninterested in the expected rhetorical move that implicitly garners one a kind of validity: that of pointing out racial and gendered elisions as the totality of one’s argument. I will, however, do just that, but only for a moment, before more importantly speaking of Blackness and its constitutive factors in this meditation — namely, queerness and (Black) feminism — on their own terms. But, ahh, the classics… The anarchist canon, as it were, has had its central tenets — if such an anti-authoritarian, non-doctrinal intellectual praxis like anarchism can be said to have tenets — expressed by many of the aforementioned figures. To summarize, anarchism is the general critique of centralized, hierarchical and thus oppressively coercive systems of power and authority. State power and capitalism are the culprits responsible for the horrors that surround us, being deemed by anarchists as monopolistic and coercive and hence illegitimate. The state, for instance, is inextricable from domination, Bakunin arguing that, “If there is a State, there must be domination of one class by another.” In theory, anarchism is touted to oppose all kinds of oppression, be it racism, sexism, transanatagonism, classism, colonialism, ageism, etc. While there has been much less explicit meditation on the anarchist stance toward transanatagonism than, say, capitalism, the overarching claim of anarchist ideology is that any kind of coercive, dominative oppression is to be quashed. To be established instead is a society based on direct democratic collaboration, mutual aid, diversity, and equity. “From each according to his [sic] ability, to each according to his [sic] need.” Though there are those who are more strict about incorporating those who preceded the 19th century heyday of people beginning to explicitly call themselves, and rally around a political movement called anarchism, I will not partake in such gatekeeping, for better — where a longer lineage of anarchist thought can be mobilized — or worse — where any form of dissent might be unjustifiably subsumed under anarchism, diluting its specificity and historical situatedness. Like Kropotkin, one might understand the Epicureans and Cynics as anarchists, since they avoided participation in the political sphere, retreated from governmental life and advocated allegiance to no state or party. They lacked the “desire to belong either to the governing or the governed class.” Kropotkin understands this as a proto-anarchic anti-State and anti-authoritarian disposition. Far from meaning that everyone is left alone and unorganized, anarchism in the classical sense privileges democratic and communal relationality, obviating external rule and control. This is a positive conception of anarchism as voluntary participation predicated on each individual’s autonomy and agreement with communal values. It bears noting, though, that an anarchist society may take different forms: socialist anarchism, which emphasizes developing communal groups that are intended to thrive in the absence of hierarchies and a centralized governmental structure; or individualist anarchism, some of which reject any and all group identities, communal mores of the good and venerate individual autonomy. Max Stirner represented perhaps the furthest pole of this tendency, with his refusal to obey any law or any state, even if it was collectively arrived at. The self is the only arbiter of one’s life. As well, there is anarcho-syndicalism, which supports workers in a capitalist society gaining control over parts of the economy and emphasizes solidarity, direct participation and the self-management of workers. Additionally, anarcho-syndicalism has the aim of abolishing the wage system, seeing it as inextricable from wage slavery. Life under non-anarchist rule conceives of the political arena as a good that exists to protect and serve the people; or better, a system chosen by the people. So much of ancient Greek philosophies, modern liberal philosophies and politi­cal philosophies assert, in various ways, that obedience to the law is a prima facie duty and inarguable good. Anarchism has called this very foundation into question. What arises in the hopeful disintegration of rule by an authoritarian nation-state is a society that cares for one another communally and democratically without the need for a tyrannical force of coercion and sovereignty. Anarchists like Godwin, Proudhon and Bakunin based this anarchist society on beliefs in reason, universal moral law, education and conscience. With this very brief overview, the task set forth here is slightly different. It parallels yet departs from, as well as stands in contrast to, this anarchist history — an anarchic “shadow history,” if you will, a para-anarchism that anarchizes anarchism. What is not being done here is an attempt to find heads or figures of Black anarchism to give clout to it as a wing of anarchism as a whole. While I will surely cite throughout this chapter, as well as subsequent chapters, the thought of people like Lucy Parsons, the Black Rose Anarchist Federation, Lorenzo Kom’boa Ervin and Zoé Samudzi, this project is in fact not concerned with simply trotting out a list of anarchist Black people as the meaning of Black anarchism. I am articulating an anarcho-Blackness, first and foremost, as an inhabitable modality of anarchic subjectivity and engagement. This may lead to a discernible Black anarchism. Fine. But the aim is not to arrive at Black anarchism; it is, rather, to engage an anarcho-Blackness that moves toward what might be called a Black anarchism. ***** There are a number of racialized, gendered and racialized gendered elisions present in classical anarchist theorizations that demand being pointed out. Bakunin: “If there is a State, there must be domination of one class by another and, as a result, slavery; the State without slavery is unthinkable — and this is why we are the enemies of the State.” Overlooked here is how the history of the enslavement of peoples of color, specifically Black people in the Western world, is the haunting specter of his claim. The condition of the slave, which is on one plane the condition of Blackness, is the relationship between a people to the state. Thus, anarchism, in its anti-statism, must reckon full force with Blackness as Blackness serves as the distinct angle of vision for encountering the effects of state-sanctioned enslavement and oppression. To abolish slavery necessitates the liberation of Blackness, making anarchism an emancipatory project, a project that has as its foundation a grappling with Blackness. On the topic of the state, there has also been the tendency to collapse the relative effects of violence. That is, if it is indeed true that the state bears a hostile relationship to those it controls, there are some who are controlled in different ways and who feel the force of the state in more acute ways. To rest at the nexus of Black and trans, for example, is to feel the brunt of the state in scrutinizing, gender binaristic and racializing ways, which give one over to the likelihood of poor housing conditions, lack of job access, increased rates of incarceration — which then subjects one to the gendered carcerality of prisons and its pervasive mis-gendering violence — and the like. Examine the lives of Miss Major, Marsha P. Johnson, CeCe McDonald. Anarchic meditation on the terrors of the state begin in the right direction, but they fall short of taking the critique as deeply as it demands. A critique of the state is in order too, though. A traditional focus on the state as the end-all be-all of oppression must be thought of as more than simply a governmental agency or bastion up on high doling out sentences and decrees. The state is, too, a relation, a way of dictating how people are to be interacted with. We encounter one another on the logics of intelligibility that the state demands and that structures how one can appear to others, circumscribing subjective parts and desires that fall outside of this framework. And this is a violence. We must also note how this relation is not only in the public sphere but characterizes any sphere in which interaction is had. And furthermore, these relations are textured by racial and gender hierarchies. One relates to others on their presumed gender, their presumed race and disallows them to be otherwise than this fundamentally externally imposed subjectivity. The other has had no opportunity to announce themselves to us on non-state grounds. Any anarchism, then, must recognize this and commit to dismantling their hierarchies within relationality and move toward the disorderly, disruptive refusal to continue living by state laws. So if anarchism truly does represent “to the unthinking what the proverbial bad man does to the child — a black monster bent on swallowing everything,”as Emma Goldman writes, then we must recognize that the blackness of the “black monster” is no accident. It is in fact constitutive. To infuse anarchism with anarcho-Blackness is to push anarchism’s logics further. Many anarchists did not organize on the grounds of difference and differentiation, even as they sought ways to prevent their silencing. Hence, anarcho-Blackness supplements these oversights via an insistence on perhaps assemblage or swarm or ensemble, whereby there is a consensus, or consent, not to be individuated — which is another way to say an affirmation to emanate from difference toward the insistence on collectivity and agential singularity. It is not unanimous we seek to be; it is ensemblic, assemblic, a distinction that manifests in the proliferation of life for those who might queerly emerge when conditions are saturated with the elimination of institutions that curtail such life. Saidiya Hartman writes in “The Terrible Beauty of the Slum”: “Better the fields and the shotgun houses and the dusty towns and the interminable cycle of credit and debt, better this than black anarchy.” These “zones of nonbeing” Hartman says, purloining Frantz Fanon, are the regulated domains of Black peoples, or more precisely of those who inhabit the rebellious posture of anarcho-Blackness. They are attempts to corral what Hartman calls “black anarchy,” or what William C. Anderson and Zoé Samudzi call “the anarchism of blackness.” This is anarcho-Blackness: the primordial mutiny to which regulation responds. It concerns what Michael Hardt, reading Foucault’s reading of Marx, calls a priority of the resistance to power. If Marx understood dominative disciplining in the workplace as a response to worker insurgency and if we understand the era of US enslavement as a response to the anticaptivity expressed through Blackness — and further, if we understand capitalism’s constitutive racial differentiation and reproduction of (re)productive and disposable humanity rooted in the commodification of Blackened subjects — then anarcho-Blackness comes in to describe the anarchic insurgency that defines the abolition of the state and hierarchization. This is about what Blackness does to and through anarchism, not against it. We need anarchism’s musings and movement strategies, so it would be antithetical to radical world transformation to jettison anarchism’s gifts. Too, though, anarchism cannot simply do what it has always done — which is itself a multifarious enterprise — as such has been predicated on, in part, an elision of the weight of white — and cis male — supremacy. That is, we cannot just add in racial and gendered perspectives to an already-functioning anarchism; we cannot, also, simply throw out anarchism on the grounds of these elisions. The task is to mobilize the effects of Black feminism and anarchism colliding in harmoniously complex chaos. This mobilization is what I’ve deemed anarcho-Blackness, an “anarchaos,” to borrow a beautifully apt lexicon from Christopher R. Williams and Bruce A. Arrigo. Source: The primordial mutiny of anarcho-Blackness | ROAR Magazine

    Read at 12:36 pm, Sep 9th

  • FALL PREVIEW: DOT Unveils 181st Street Busway – Streetsblog New York City

    .entry-header With five bus lines, two subway stops, a busy commercial strip, the only entrance to the Hudson River Greenway for blocks, and major bridge crossings at both ends of the street, Washington Heights’ 181st Street is a tangle of cars, buses, bikes and pedestrians. For years, DOT has been looking to redesign the corridor entirely, […] .entry-header Flushing busway advocates are railing against the Department of Transportation for what appears to be its acquiescence to a small contingent of busway opponents. .entry-header Until the city commits to more busways, the MTA's bus-network redesign amounts to tinkering. Bring on the red paint! .entry-header Outer-borough tiff shows how mayor's approach comes up short. .entry-header The Age of Cars on Jay Street is coming to a close. The Age of Buses is set to begin. .entry-header Following a series of public workshops going back to 2008, DOT has put forward some big plans for Manhattan’s traffic-clogged 181st Street. Over the next few months, the department will choose one of three options to ease traffic and improve safety on the street. While every option offers some significant benefits for Washington Heights pedestrians, […] Source: FALL PREVIEW: DOT Unveils 181st Street Busway – Streetsblog New York City

    Read at 12:34 pm, Sep 9th

  • The argument that kills any monetisation discussion - QuirksBlog

    The argument that kills any monetisation discussion When I was going through Stephanie Rieger’s presentation about regulation for the web, I had an idea: what if we forced people to pay for social media use? Today I’d like to discuss not that idea but a counterargument leveled against it: What about people who cannot afford to pay for social media? Wouldn’t they be left behind? This observation turns up sooner or later in any monetisation discussion. I have a problem with this argument. Killing the discussion My problem is not that it’s untrue — I wish it were; that would make any monetisation discussion a lot easier. My problem is that it effectively kills the discussion. Giving in to this argument raises the interests of people who are unable to pay to the top of our priority list, trumping the interests of other constituencies, notably content creators. If we accept this argument in full, we are effectively unable to make any further progress — or so it seems to me. The current system of giving away everything for free benefits people who are unable to pay. That is a good feature, but I feel that the fact that a system has a good feature does not mean we should accept all of the bad ones. In order to change the status quo we have to temporarily ignore the interests of people who are unable to pay. Considering them, and drawing up plans in case of a (so-far hypothetical) victory of sane monetisation is fine. Killing the discussion in their name is not. That’s why in the future I am going to respectfully reject this argument while acknowledging it is true. The fact that some people are not able to pay for monetisation scheme X is a problem to be solved, but it is not a reason to reject scheme X. Paying for access Assume for a moment that sites like this, or, much more importantly, MDN, require payment, or at least that there is strong social pressure to pay for usage. Some people are unable to do so. How should we solve that problem? To me, the answer is obvious: create a sort of fund that buys subscriptions wholesale (with a bit of bulk discount?) and dontes them to affected people. I don’t know a lot about such funds, but I do have ample experience with diversity tickets for conferences, which is a somewhat-comparable use case. In our experience, gathering the money to pay for a few diversity tickets is no problem. Companies will chip in, some speaker will waive their fees, or sometimes even their travel budgets, we’ll give a discount and add one or two free tickets, and before we know it we have enough budget for about ten diversity tickets. Access costs less money per person than a diversity ticket, although we need many more units. That’s why I am assuming that acquiring the budget to pay for access for even a few hundred people is quite possible, although it may take some time. Selection The problem lies in the selection. Who exactly should receive support from this fund? This is usually the bottleneck for our diversity tickets, because we decided long ago that we ourselves are not going to take that decision. We used to use a service that made a selection for us, but even before the Corona crisis broke they decided to cease their selection service. That leaves ... nothing, as far as we know. A hypothetical system that pays for access to content would run into the same problem. Who deserves such support? Who decides who deserves such support? Somebody will have to take decisions here, will have to — dare I say it? — keep the gate. But who? To me, this is the crucial question. I have no easy answer. If you have an answer please share it. Note, however, that I’m looking for something structural, something that can stay in place for years and years to come. Right now I’m not interested in temporary solutions. Or do we want to keep the current system in place so that we don’t have to answer this question? Or am I worrying too much and will the situation sort-of solve itself? Am I maybe erecting a straw-man argument? I just don’t know right now. *** As to my original idea of paying for social media usage, feel free to think about it, ask hard questions like Dean Bubley did, and mull it over in your head, but the more I think about it, the more I feel that it’s too complicated to actually execute. Source: The argument that kills any monetisation discussion – QuirksBlog

    Read at 11:57 am, Sep 9th

  • Chromium Blog: Giving users and developers more control over focus

    Chrome 86 introduces two new features that improve both the user and developer experience when it comes to working with focus. The :focus-visible pseudo-class is a CSS selector that lets developers opt-in to the same heuristic the browser uses when it's deciding whether to show a default focus indicator. This makes styling focus more predictable. The Quick Focus Highlight is a user preference that causes the currently focused element to display an indicator for two seconds. The Quick Focus Highlight will always display, even if a page has disabled focus styles using CSS. It will also cause all CSS focus styles to match regardless of the input device that is interacting with the page. What is focus? When a user interacts with an element the browser will often show an indicator to signal that the element has "focus". This is sometimes referred to as the "focus ring" because browsers typically put a solid or dashed ring around the focused element. The focus ring signals to the user which element will receive keyboard events. If a user is tabbing through a form, the focus ring indicates which text field they can type into, or if they've focused a submit button they will know that pressing Enter or Spacebar will activate that button. Problems with focus For users who rely on a keyboard or other assistive technology to access the page, the focus ring acts as their mouse pointer - it's how they know what they are interacting with. Unfortunately, many websites hide the focus ring using CSS. Oftentimes they do this because the underlying behavior of focus can be difficult to understand, and styling focus can have surprising consequences. For example, a custom dropdown menu should use the tabindex attribute to make itself keyboard operable. But adding a tabindex to an element causes all browsers to show a focus ring on that element if it is clicked with a mouse. If a developer is surprised to see the focus ring when they click the menu, they might use the following CSS to hide it: .custom-dropdown-menu:focus { outline: none; } This "fixes" their issue, insofar as they no longer see the focus ring when they click the menu. However, they have unknowingly broken the experience for users relying on a keyboard to access the page. As mentioned earlier, for users who rely on a keyboard to access the page, the focus ring acts as their mouse pointer. Therefore, CSS that removes the focus ring (without providing an alternative) is akin to hiding the mouse pointer. To improve on this situation, developers need a better way to style focus - one that matches their expectations of how focus should work, and doesn't run the risk of breaking the experience for users. At the same time, users need to have the final say in the experience and should be able to choose when and how they see focus. This is where :focus-visible and the Quick Focus Highlight come in. :focus-visible Whenever you click on an element, browsers use an internal heuristic to determine whether they should display a default focus indicator. This is why in Chrome tabbing to a <button> shows a focus ring, but clicking it with a mouse does not.  When you use :focus to style an element, it tells the browser to ignore its heuristic and to always show your focus style. For some situations this can break the user's expectation and lead to a confusing experience. :focus-visible, on the other hand, will invoke the same heuristic that the browser uses when it's deciding whether to show the default focus indicator. This allows focus styles to feel more intuitive. In Chrome 86 and beyond, this should be all you need to style focus: /* Focusing the button with a keyboard will show a dashed black line. */ button:focus-visible { outline: 4px dashed black; } By combining :focus-visible with :focus you can take things a step further and provide different focus styles depending on the user's input device. This can be helpful if you want the focus indicator to depend  on the precision of the input device: /* Focusing the button with a keyboard will show a dashed black line. */ button:focus-visible { outline: 4px dashed black; } /* Focusing the button with a mouse, touch, or stylus will show a subtle drop shadow. */ button:focus:not(:focus-visible) { outline: none; box-shadow: 1px 1px 5px rgba(1, 1, 0, .7); } The snippet above says that if the browser would normally show a focus indicator, then it should do so using a 4px dashed black outline. Additionally, the example relies on the existing :focus behavior and says that if an element has focus, but the browser would not normally show a default focus ring, then it should show a drop shadow.  Since the browser doesn't usually show a default focus ring when a user clicks on  a button, the :focus:not(:focus-visible) pattern can be an easy way to specifically target mouse/touch focus. Note that not all browsers set focus in the same way, so the above snippet will work in Chromium based browsers, but may not work in others. The :focus-visible heuristic Understanding the browsers’ heuristics for focus indicators will help you understand when to use :focus-visible. Unfortunately, the heuristic has never been specified, so the behavior is subtly different in every browser. The :focus-visible specification suggests one possible heuristic based on the behavior browsers currently demonstrate. Here's a quick breakdown: Has the user expressed a preference to always see a focus indicator? If the user has indicated that they always want to see a focus indicator, then :focus-visible will always match on the focused element, just like :focus does. Does the element require text input? :focus-visible will always match when an element which requires text input (for example, <input type="text">) is focused. A quick way to know if an element is likely to require text input is to ask yourself "If I were to tap on this element using a mobile device, would I expect to see a virtual keyboard?" If the answer is "yes" then the element will match :focus-visible. What input device is being used? If the user is using a keyboard to navigate the page, then :focus-visible will match on any interactive element (including any element with tabindex) which becomes focused. If they're using a mouse or touch screen, then it will only match if the focused element requires text input.  Was focus moved programmatically? If focus is moved programmatically by calling focus(), the newly focused element will only match :focus-visible if the previously focused element matched it as well.  For example, if a user presses a physical key, and the event handler opens a menu and moves focus to the first menu item, :focus-visible will still match and the menu item will have a focus style. Because mouse users may frequently use keyboard shortcuts, Chrome's implementation will bypass "keyboard mode" if a meta key (such as command, control, etc.) is pressed. For example, if a user who was previously using a mouse pressed a keyboard shortcut which shows a settings dialog, :focus-visible would not match on the focused element in the settings dialog. Support and polyfill Currently, :focus-visible is only supported in Chrome 86 and other Chromium-based browsers, though there's work underway to add support to Firefox. Refer to the MDN browser compatibility table to keep track of current support. If you'd like to use :focus-visible today you can do so with the help of the :focus-visible polyfill. Once the polyfill is loaded, you can use the .focus-visible class instead of :focus-visible to achieve similar results: /* Define mouse/touch focus indicators. */ .js-focus-visible :focus:not(.focus-visible) { … } /* Define keyboard focus indicators. */ .js-focus-visible .focus-visible { … } Note that the MDN support table shows Firefox supports a similar selector known as :-moz-focusring which :focus-visible is based on; however the behavior between the two selectors is quite different and it's recommended to use the :focus-visible polyfill if you need cross-browser support. Quick Focus Highlight :focus-visible makes it easier for developers to selectively style focus and avoids pitfalls with the existing :focus selector. While this is a great addition to the developer toolbox, for a subset of users, particularly those with cognitive impairments, it can be helpful to always see a focus indicator, and they may find it distressing when the focus indicator appears less often due to selective styling with :focus-visible. For these users, Chrome 86 adds a setting called Quick Focus Highlight. Quick Focus Highlight temporarily highlights the currently focused element, and causes :focus-visible to always match. To enable Quick Focus Highlight: Go to Chrome's settings menu (or type chrome://settings into the address bar). Click Advanced then Accessibility. Enable the toggle switch to Show a quick highlight on the focused object. Once Quick Focus Highlight is enabled, focused elements will show a white-blue outline with a blue glow. (See the image below.). The Highlight uses these alternating colors to ensure that it has proper contrast on any background. The Highlight is outset from the focused element to avoid interfering with that element's existing focus styles or drop shadows. The Highlight will fade out after two seconds to avoid obscuring page content, such as text. FAQ User-input can be multi-modal, for example some 2-in-1 laptops support mouse, keyboard, touch, and stylus. How does :focus-visible work with these devices? Because :focus-visible uses the same heuristic as a default focus indicator, the experience should match what users expect on these platforms when they interact with unstyled HTML elements. In other words, if developers use :focus-visible as their primary means to style focus, then the experience should be more consistent for all users regardless of their input device. Does :focus-visible expose sensitive information? Most of the time, :focus-visible matching only indicates that a user is using the keyboard, or has focused an element which takes text input. :focus-visible could potentially be used to detect that a user has enabled a preference to always show a focus indicator, by tracking mouse and keyboard events and checking matches(":focus-visible") on elements which were focused when the keyboard is not being used. Since the precise details of when :focus-visible should match are left up to the browser's implementation, this would not be a completely reliable method. What's the impact on users with low vision or cognitive impairments? :focus-visible and the Quick Focus Highlight were designed to work together to help these users. :focus-visible aims to address the common anti-pattern of developers removing the focus indicator from all of their controls. Using the browser's focus heuristic helps by creating fewer surprises for developers when the focus ring appears, meaning fewer reasons to use CSS to hide the ring. For some users the browser's default behavior may still be insufficient. They may want to see a focus ring regardless of the type of control they're interacting with, or the input device they're using. That's where the Quick Focus Highlight can help. The Quick Focus Highlight lets users increase the visibility of the focus indicator, and makes it so :focus-visible always matches, regardless of their input device. This combination of effects should make the currently focused element much easier to identify. Why not have an "alway on" focus indicator? The Quick Focus Highlight does not currently support an "always on" mode because it's difficult to design a universal focus overlay that does not obscure page content. As a result, the Highlight will fade out after two seconds, and rely on either the browser's default focus indicator, or the page author's :focus and :focus-visible styles. Because the Highlight is a user preference its behavior can be changed in the future if users would prefer that it always stay on. Should we also add :focus-visible-within? There has been discussion around adding :focus-visible-within, but a proposal will require additional use cases. If you feel like you have a good use case for :focus-visible-within please add it to the discussion issue. We welcome your feedback! :focus-visible and the Quick Focus Highlight are the product of years of work and feedback from developers in the :focus-visible WICG repo and the standards bodies. We'd like to say thank you to everyone who helped shape these features. Give :focus-visible and the new Highlight a shot, and tell us what you think. If you've found an issue with the Quick Focus Highlight, attach a screenshot and send it to our support tracker. If you've found an issue with :focus-visible, use this template to file a chromium bug. Source: Chromium Blog: Giving users and developers more control over focus

    Read at 12:15 am, Sep 9th

  • Using max() for an inner-element max-width | CSS-Tricks

    I go into all this in The “Inside” Problem. The gist: you want an edge-to-edge container, but the content inside to have a limited width. I think there is absolutely no problem using a nested element inside, but it’s also fun to look at the possibilities of making that work on a single element. My favorite from that article is this one that calculates padding for you: While calc() does indeed do the trick, it doesn’t allow you to have a minimum padding. Well, max() does. I still find it hella confusing that we reach for max() when we want a minimum value but, hey, just gotta build that muscle memory. Reader Caluã de Lacerda Pataca responded to our last newsletter where we mentioned these functions with a this clever idea: Now we can make sure that the content doesn’t smash up against the edges no matter what. Source: Using max() for an inner-element max-width | CSS-Tricks

    Read at 12:06 am, Sep 9th

Day of Sep 8th, 2020

  • JAMstack is fast only if you make it so - Nicolas Hoizey

    JAMstack is fast only if you make it so JAMstack often promotes itself as an excellent way to provide performant sites. It's even the first listed benefit on jamstack.wtf, a "guide [which] gathers the concept of JAMstack in a straight-forward guide to encourage other developers to adopt the workflow". But too many JAMstack sites are very slow. You may have seen Alex Russell's frequent rants about Gatsby: @matthewcp @justinfagnani @gatsbyjs @kylemathews @addyosmani Looking across the full set of traces, modern Gatsby seems to produce pages that take 2-3x as long as they should to become interactive. This is not OK. Gatsby/NPM/React regressively tax access to content. In less generous moments, I'd go as far as to say it's unethical. Gatsby is an easy target (among many others) because it is currently not optimized for performance out of the box, despite what's promoted. It is possible to fix it, for example with this plugin, and I believe good React developers can make it shine, but it should be the default, not an afterthought. Eleventy is very different, as Zach Leatherman reminds us in Eleventy’s New Performance Leaderboard: Eleventy doesn’t do any special optimizations out of the box to make your sites fast. It doesn’t protect you from making a slow site. But importantly it also doesn’t add anything extra either. The issue with most slow JAMstack sites is that they load a loooot of JavaScript. Remember that any added JavaScript has to be sent to the browser, which also needs more computation for it. It quickly impacts performance. Sometimes, using the server-side build is enough to get data from an API and serve HTML to all visitors, which is much better for performance. For example, swyx wrote Clientside Webmentions about implementing Webmention with Svelte. Any article promoting Webmention and easing its adoption is welcome! But even if it's nice for a demo of Webmention and Svelte, I wouldn't recommend doing it client-side. Server-side first §︎ I prefer doing it on the server. It allows to: call webmentio.io API only when building the site, which should be less often than visitors viewing pages. cache the result of requests to webmention.io and the timestamp of the latest, so that the next one only asks for new webmentions. It puts less pressure on webmention.io, with one single request per build, when a client implementation makes a much larger request (or even several, with pagination) for each page view. For example: my website received 75 webmentions in April 2020. I have probably built it a hundred times during the same period, so let's say 100 requests to webmention.io with small responses. in the same period, my website had 3,746 page views (underestimated, I still use Google Analytics 🤷‍♂️), which would have made 3,746 requests to webmention.io with large responses. Using the server-side build to get the webmentions provides multiple benefits: The performance for the users is much better, with HTML already computed on the server and statically served. Much fewer API calls, requiring much less computing time and power. Everyone should know that Aaron Parecki provides the awesome webmention.io service for free, and most Webmention users seem to use it nowadays, so being nice with its API feels better. Enhance client-side, if really needed §︎ If you know you receive a lot of very useful webmentions that you have to show to your visitors, you can enhance the server-side generated list with a bit of client-side. But remember every JavaScript added to the page has a cost, so the few additional webmentions have to be really useful. So, instead of doing this for every page view, at least: First, try to wait for some time after the site build before making client-side API calls. Keep the build timestamp available to client-side JavaScript, and wait for an hour, a day, or more, depending on the frequency of webmentions. You could even use the page's "age" to query webmention.io less for older content that probably receives less webmentions, as Aaron Gustafson did even for server-side call in his Jekyll plugin. Then, keep track of a user's calls to the API, in localStorage or IndexedDB, so that you don't make these calls again a short while after. You could even use a Service Worker to cache requests and their timestamp. Client-side only API calls sometimes make more sense §︎ I agree Webmentions are not the most complex use case to explain that most of the time you should call APIs from the server at build time rather than from the client: Webmentions to show are the same for all visitors. Missing a few of the latest ones is probably not an issue. So yes, many other use cases make client-side API calls necessary, or better than server-side ones, I understand that. I say it should not be the default. That's also something I don't really like in current JAMstack trend, promoting JavaScript and APIs much more than Markup. Here's for example what you can see on jamstack.wtf (simplified): JAMstack JavaScript APIs Markup As suggested by Yann, I would like to start by using this better presentation: JAMstack JavaScript APIs Markup It makes more obvious there is a pile of things, quite useful for a "stack". But I would like to suggest this modification: AJMstack APIs JavaScript Markup Of course, it reads as AJMstack instead of JAMstack, so I bet I won't be successful promoting it… 🤷‍♂️ But at least it feels more accurate, it shows JavaScript is the link between APIs and Markup. It even allows to present this as a great progressive enhancement platform, as we can start with plain old (did I hear "boring"?) Markup… Here's the Mstack: Mstack Markup Make sure this "stack" is great, and then enhance with JavaScript and APIs. If you want to share an error or suggest an enhancement of this content, please edit the source on GitHub. 25 Webmentions 4 likes 4 reposts 17 mentions Brian Rinaldi An interesting take on building for performance in the Jamstack by @nhoizey, which gets at something I personally keep trying to build awareness around - just because the J is for JavaScript, does not mean the solution for everything is client-side script. nicolas-hoizey.com/articles/2020/… Boris Schapira 🚀 #boostmark "JAMstack is fast only if you make it so", @nhoizey nicolas-hoizey.com/articles/2020/… I really like the concept of MStack. Client-side JS tends to slow websites, use it wisely. Arnaud Ligny 👨‍💻 💡 🚀 Et si on faisait d'avantage la promotion de la Mstack ? "JAMstack is fast only if you make it so" nicolas-hoizey.com/articles/2020/… #JAMstack Boris [Bookmark] "JAMstack is fast only if you make it so", Nicolas Hoizey (@nhoizey) nicolas-hoizey.com/articles/2020/… Baldur Bjarnason @baldur@toot.cafe “JAMstack is fast only if you make it so - Nicolas Hoizey” “That’s also something I don’t really like in current JAMstack trend, promoting JavaScript and APIs much more than Markup.” nicolas-hoizey.com/articles/2020/… Nicolas Hoizey I updated the diagrams at the end of the article, with better use of CSS Grid, that was fun! 😁 I hope the HTML used for these makes it accessible, too. But I don’t know how to test that. Ken Sherwood "The issue with most slow JAMstack sites is that they load a loooot of JavaScript." - nicolas-hoizey.com/articles/2020/… Phil Hawksworth I'm with @nhoizey. Jamstack offers an opportunity for web developers to build great experiences for users. But as with all tools, we can mess that up if we're not thoughtful. Doing as much as possible on the server ahead of time is my mantra. https://wipdeveloper.wpcomstaging.com/around-the-web-20200515/ JAMstacked 📮 JAMstack is fast only if you make it so — nicolas-hoizey.com/articles/2020/… Angsuman Chakraborty Jamstack is fast only if you make it so nicolas-hoizey.com/articles/2020/… http://virusno.tk/jamstack-is-fast-only-if-you-make-it-so/ Randall Degges JAMstack is fast only if you make it so nicolas-hoizey.com/articles/2020/… Bejamas.io JAMstack is fast only if you make it so by @nhoizey nicolas-hoizey.com/articles/2020/… CoderYoga🧘‍♂️ Varun A P ⚡ Came across this today! And I couldn't agree more. JAMstack is fast only if you make it so by @nhoizey nicolas-hoizey.com/articles/2020/… FullStack Bulletin JAMstack is fast only if you make it so - Nicolas Hoizey nicolas-hoizey.com/articles/2020/… Source: JAMstack is fast only if you make it so – Nicolas Hoizey

    Read at 07:07 pm, Sep 8th

  • No, The Government Did Not Break Up A Child Sex Trafficking Ring In Georgia | HuffPost

    Human trafficking has been having an eventful summer. In July, internet sleuths accused online retailer Wayfair of selling missing children in overpriced cabinets. In August, QAnon supporters (along with some well-meaning if ill-informed influencers) held nationwide “Save the Children” rallies.  And last week, there was the trailer story. “U.S. Marshals Find 39 Missing Children in Georgia During ‘Operation Not Forgotten,’” proclaimed the government’s official press release. Federal agents and local law enforcement, it said, had rescued 26 children, “safely located” 13 more and arrested nine perpetrators, some of whom were charged with sex trafficking.  The facts of the operation weren’t clear (what does “safely located” mean, exactly?), but it didn’t stop media outlets from taking up the story. “Missing Children Rescued in Georgia Sex Trafficking Bust” wrote The Associated Press, a headline dutifully repeated in The New York Times. “39 Missing Children Located in Georgia Sex Trafficking Sting Operation” was People magazine’s version. Few media outlets contributed any original reporting; the vast majority of stories were little more than rewritten versions of the U.S. Marshals Service’s press release. Within hours, social media users continued the game of telephone. “39 kids were just recovered from traffickers in Georgia,” Charlie Kirk, the founder of the right-wing student group Turning Point USA, wrote in a tweet. “Law enforcement officers saved their lives. How is this not the biggest story in America right now?” 39 kids were just recovered from traffickers in Georgia. At least 15 were sexually abused. Law enforcement officers saved their lives. How is this not the biggest story in America right now? — Charlie Kirk (@charliekirk11) August 30, 2020 Thousands of other social media users repeated the same information and asked the same rhetorical question: Why wasn’t this a bigger deal? “The media is so hell-bent on demonizing the law enforcement profession that they have to find really weak excuses to not cover it when cops rescue 39 children from a sex trafficking ring,” the National Fraternal Order of Police, the law enforcement union, told its followers. How is finding 39 missing children in a double wide trailer here in Georgia NOT the biggest news story in America? — King Randall, I. (@NewEmergingKing) August 28, 2020 More than 150,000 people shared a single-sentence tweet from someone named King Randall, I: “How is finding 39 missing children in a double wide trailer here in Georgia NOT the biggest news story in America?” Well, to answer a one-sentence question with a one-sentence answer, 39 kids being rescued from a trailer in Georgia is not the biggest news story in America because 39 kids were not rescued from a trailer in Georgia.  “This is not the big trafficking bust everyone thinks it is,” said Erin Albright, a human trafficking and law enforcement consultant who works with cities to develop anti-trafficking strategies. “Any time a child is being harmed and is connected with meaningful support, that’s good. But at the same time, we have to recognize that these stories are not what they look like at first.”  Wait, So Was This A Trafficking Bust Or Not? “This was not a designated anti-trafficking operation,” Darby Kirby, a U.S. Marshals Service inspector involved with the operation, told HuffPost. Operation Not Forgotten, the name law enforcement gave the recovery effort, was a collaboration between state and federal authorities to locate 78 “critically missing” children. That term means they could be at risk for trafficking, but they could also be at risk of parental abuse or have medical conditions that make their recovery more urgent.  The operation was a success. Authorities found all but 13 of the 78 missing children. Of the 65 they located, 39 were “recovered,” meaning they were removed from whatever situation they were in — which could be anything from living on the streets to crashing on a friend’s couch to staying with a parent who didn’t have custody rights. The other 26 cases were closed without the child being “recovered.” Albright said this could mean that another agency, such as Child Protective Services, found them — or that they had been home all along.  State authorities said they suspected that 15 of the 78 children were victims of trafficking (meaning they were engaging in commercial sex) but confirmed only six cases. Those children were transferred to a victims’ rehabilitation facility, and we’re going to talk about them later.  The operation netted only one new charge of sex trafficking against a perpetrator. Of the seven men and two women arrested, three were charged with probation violations, one was charged with unlawful possession of a firearm and two were accused of violating custody arrangements. One person was arrested on a warrant for a previous sex trafficking charge, and two more were arrested on warrants for sex crimes in other states.   We need to keep in mind that ‘rescuing’ these kids is not the end. They’re still incredibly vulnerable. A year from now the U.S. Marshals could do this again and pick up the same 39 kids. Erin Albright, law enforcement and human trafficking consultant But What About All Those Kids They Found In The Trailer? Yeah, there was no trailer.  Federal agents did not rescue a large number of children from a single location — or even a single jurisdiction. Kirby told HuffPost that only two children were recovered together. The other kids were found individually across 15 Georgia counties and six other states: South Carolina, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Florida, Kentucky and Michigan. The operation took place over two weeks, not one night. In other words, the “sex trafficking sting” described in headlines and social media posts was neither a sex trafficking operation nor a sting. Kirby noted that the agency did not conduct any raids (she capitalized and underlined the word “not” in her email) during the effort to locate the 78 children. This was a knock-on-doors and question-suspects situation, not a bust-in-with-a-battering-ram kind of deal.  It’s also worth noting that the operation was also set up to arrest children, not just rescue them. Katie Byrd, the communications director for the Georgia attorney general’s office, noted that two of the missing kids were suspects in homicide cases, and one was a person of interest in another.   Plus, 11 of the kids had, in Byrd’s words, “some kind of gang affiliation.” Byrd did not specify how many juveniles were arrested in connection with the operation, but, according to numbers her office provided, it appears that up to seven warrants were issued for underage offenders. Shane T. McCoy/U.S. Marshals Service The vast majority of the children recovered in Operation Not Forgotten were homeless teens and endangered runaways. Despite myths perpetuated in airport posters and Liam Neeson movies, child sex trafficking does not typically involve kidnapping or coercion. Most children who end up performing commercial sex are simply trying to survive while living on the streets. But At Least They Rescued A Bunch Of Kids From Traffickers, Right? One of the greatest misconceptions about child sex trafficking is that it requires a trafficker. Legally speaking, every time a person under 18 trades sex for anything of value, they have been trafficked. The statutory definition does not require coercion, force or the involvement of a pimp.  In the majority of underage sex trafficking cases, Albright said, the child is homeless, has run away from foster care or has been kicked out by their parents, often due to being queer or transgender. Many of these kids end up trading sex for money, drugs or a place to sleep because it’s their only way to survive. Under the legal definition, their “trafficker” could be a pimp but could also be a customer.  “These kids sometimes end up with folks that traffic them and sometimes end up trading sex for a place to stay or food to eat,” Albright said. Implying that all child victims of trafficking are abducted can cause policymakers to ignore critical supports like youth homeless shelters and gender-affirming housing.  “No one is saying it’s OK to pay a 15-year-old for sex,” Albright said. “What we’re saying is that law enforcement can’t be our only response. Children in these situations need a lot of support. What they don’t need is to be arrested, which unfortunately still happens in too many cases.” Byrd said that 54 of the 78 children involved in Operation Not Forgotten had been in foster care before they went missing. Kirby, at the U.S. Marshals Service, confirmed that most of the children the agency was looking for were endangered runaways.  You’re Not Implying That Child Sex Trafficking Is Fake, Are You?  No, I’m not a monster. Child sex trafficking is real, and it’s important for America to do something about it.  It’s also important, however, to acknowledge that the actual drivers of underage sex work are far more complicated than airport posters and Liam Neeson movies would have you believe.   First of all, decades of social science research has found that the vast majority of children are abused by someone they know, usually their parents but sometimes other children or figures of authority they trust. “Stranger danger” kidnappings, on the other hand, are extremely rare — the latest estimate is 115 per year in the entire United States.  Second, the summer-long panic about missing children is almost entirely based on faulty statistics. Though it’s true that more than 400,000 children are reported missing each year, that is not even close to the number who disappear. The vast majority of these reports are misunderstandings or runaways. Roughly 10% are kidnapped by a parent as part of a custody dispute. Over 99% return home, most within a few days. Finally, when it comes to child sexual exploitation, the problem persists for complicated, heartbreaking reasons that have more to do with the failure of America’s social safety net than the rapaciousness of its criminal sex offenders. In 2016, the Center for Court Innovation published a survey of nearly 1,000 young sex workers in six American cities. The average age at which they had left home was 15. More than half had dropped out of high school, and more than 1 in 3 cisgender female sex workers had children of their own.   The study also found, strikingly, that only 15% of the young sex workers had relationships with pimps. Leroy Lamar, the co-founder of Comprehensive Community Services, a nonprofit that works with street-based sex workers in Atlanta, said “managers” — the sex industry term — generally recruit women who are already doing sex work.  ”It’s not that they saw a girl at school and they started buying her things and lured her into their car,’ he said. “The ‘Romeo’ scenario does happen, but it’s rare.” It doesn’t make sense, he said, for pimps to spend time trying to recruit random teenagers when they could just go to Fulton Industrial —Atlanta’s red-light district — and threaten the workers who are already there. The problem with the term “trafficking,” Lamar said, isn’t that it’s false. It’s that it simplifies the complex reasons teenagers end up selling sex to survive.  “The system here is deeply, deeply flawed,” Lamar said. Georgia’s foster care system is chronically underfunded, and services for homeless teens are sparse. Lamar estimates that roughly 90% of street-based sex workers in Atlanta are functionally homeless, living out of the motels where they meet clients every night. “Providing adequate services for kids before they end up on the streets would do a lot more for them than ‘rescuing’ them afterwards,” Lamar said.   Shane T. McCoy/U.S. Marshals Service Despite being widely described as a "trafficking bust," Operation Not Forgotten was not an anti-trafficking effort and did not involve any law enforcement raids or stings. The operation took place over two weeks and involved authorities in seven states. Fine, But What About The Kids Who Were Trafficked? Of the 65 children located during Operation Not Forgotten, six were considered trafficked and transferred to the Receiving Hope Center, a victims’ residential facility in Paulding, Georgia.  Pamela Morris, the director of youth residential services for the center, couldn’t provide details on the six victims but estimated that roughly 85% of the facility’s residents are referred there from the foster care or juvenile justice systems. Some were homeless before they were trafficked; most were poor kids of color; almost all were abused by their parents or other guardians.  “Ninety-nine percent of the kids we serve have already suffered some sort of trauma at home,” Morris said.  But while “rescuing” underage trafficking victims sounds like the end of their problems, the victims recovered in Operation Not Forgotten have a long road ahead of them. The Receiving Hope Center is a temporary facility — victims can’t stay longer than 90 days — that confines victims to the premises until they’re assessed and transferred elsewhere.  “We have children who are suicidal, homicidal or aggressive — these are skills they’ve had to learn to survive,” Morris said. “They don’t have the capacity to make decisions to keep themselves safe.” The center offers counseling, group therapy and on-site education. After their 90 days are up, the victims will either be given back to their parents, sent back to foster care facilities or transferred to longer-term trafficking victims’ rehabilitation programs.  Georgia has only three dedicated facilities for trafficking victims, with a combined capacity of fewer than 50 beds. All three facilities are run by Christian organizations and confine victims to the premises, take away their cellphones and restrict their internet access. Morris referred to the circumstances at the Receiving Hope Center as “maximum watchful oversight.”  Lamar said many of the sex workers he encounters on Fulton Industrial have been “rescued” by law enforcement agencies and enrolled in victims’ services programs in the past, but they ended up dropping out because they could not handle the cold-turkey rules, religious programming and loss of independence.  “People need a place where they can rest and clear their head without any restrictions,” Lamar said. Since he started his nonprofit in 2007, he has seen fewer than 10 cases in which a sex worker was able to start a new life after their pimp was arrested in a trafficking sting.  For those who want a new start, he said, the real barriers are lack of child care, free education and well-paying jobs. Without those, even graduates from long-term residential programs can end up back on the streets.  “We need to keep in mind that ‘rescuing’ these kids is not the end,” Albright said. “They’re still incredibly vulnerable. A year from now the U.S. Marshals could do this again and pick up the same 39 kids.” Source: No, The Government Did Not Break Up A Child Sex Trafficking Ring In Georgia | HuffPost

    Read at 06:52 pm, Sep 8th

  • KENDI: An Open Response to the Instagram Comments on Adele's Cultural Appropriation Post

    The North Star has dropped its paywall during this COVID-19 crisis so that pertinent information and analysis is available to everyone during this time. This is only possible because of the generous support of our members. We rely on these funds to pay our staff to continue to provide high-quality content. If you are able to support, we invite you to do so here. If you haven’t yet seen the controversial Instagram post from music artist Adele, I’ll give a short description.  The caption reads “Happy what would be Notting Hill Carnival my beloved London” British flag emoji. Jamaican flag emoji.  The Notting Hill Carnival is an event that has taken place in London every year since 1966. It is a celebration of London’s Caribbean community and operates as a parade festival mix with thousands flocking to the streets in colorful costumes, singing, dancing and having an overall grand time celebrating their heritage.  The caption is fine. It’s the image itself that stirred some ill feelings.  In the picture, Adele, a British white woman, stands wearing a bikini top with the Jamaican flag printed across, a bright yellow feather piece attached to her back in bookbag fashion, and bantu knots in her dirty blonde hair.  Bantu knots are a protective hairstyle typically worn by people with thick coily hair, meaning mostly Black / Afrikan people. Adele’s hairstyle sparked accusations of cultural appropriation, which is extremely fair considering the discrimination Black people have faced due to their natural hair.   But I’m not here to debate or explain what counts as cultural appropriation. There’s enough articles, books and essays written on the subject. It’s what I read in the comments of the post that really disturbed me.  Of the over 131,000 comments the post amassed, it was this comment that caught my attention. It went something along the lines of,  “Only Black Americans are offended by this ‘cultural appropriation.’ Africans do not care. You all are insecure and don’t know your true culture. Go visit home.” “Go visit home.” That’s the line that struck a chord. To dismiss the protest of Black Americans and excuse what was, at the very least, a questionable choice on Adele’s part by telling us to “go visit home” baffled me.  What “home” was this comment referring to?  The continent of Afrika of which I have no clue where exactly my people originate because they were stolen and their identities erased over years of enslavement?  That home?  The home I have tried desperately to pinpoint using the Ancestry DNA test I was so excited to take at twelve years old. The one that told me I may or may not have 26 different countries in my blood and keeps changing the results? Those homes? Tell me, which of these maybe homes should I go visit first? This comment and the thousands echoing its message not only invalidate the very real existence of Black American culture as it stands on its own, but it also fails to take into consideration the fact that most Black Americans have no way of knowing where their DNA deems “home.” For me, visiting home means visiting Kentucky. The earliest relative my mother could find in her months of research was her great-great-great-great Grandfather Henry McAtee, an enslaved man who fought for our freedom in the Civil War.  He is my earliest notion of home.  Yes, I will admit there is a level of pain in not knowing how deep my roots grow.  I would give most anything to have the luxury of being able to trace my being back thousands of years to an Afrika untouched by colonization, but I am proud of the history I do have, the ancestors I do know. They survived so much.  They tore through tough soil to plant new roots, left room for me to continue their growth, to be the ancient ancestor I will never know but will one day be for someone else.  So what I really want to say in response to the comment on Adele’s post, and the thousands like it, telling Black Americans to stifle their pain and protest and “go visit home,” I say I am so happy you have the privilege of knowing just where your home is. I say, since my great-great-great-great grandfather did not have the privilege of going back home, he made one for me here in America. And it is imperfect.  And I hate it so often I have thought of abandoning it time and time again.  But a piece of this country was carved out by him just for me. So I will fight to make it better in the hopes that one day my great-great-great-great grandkids will have a country they are proud to call home.  Source: KENDI: An Open Response to the Instagram Comments on Adele’s Cultural Appropriation Post

    Read at 06:07 pm, Sep 8th

  • The Mythology of Karen

    The meme is so powerful because of the awkward status of white women. Updated at 10:24 a.m. ET on August 24, 2020.

    Read at 12:19 pm, Sep 8th

  • The Trouble with TypeScript - DEV

    Hi my name is Ryan, and this is my first post on dev.to. I regularly write for medium.com but I wanted to give dev.to a try. I'm a big enthusiast of reactive libraries and front-end JavaScript performance. I'm the author of Solid.js one of the top-performing libraries on JS Frameworks Benchmark. But today I want to write about something else. I've been using TypeScript now for about a year. Hardly enough time to come to a conclusion about it, but I've wanted to write this article for months. Pushing it off each time hoping that it would finally click. I also decided that I might not be the best judge as being a library writer I was sort of thrust right over the deep end. So I wanted to give people of different experience levels and programming backgrounds I trusted an unbiased chance at it. So not only did I convert all my open-source libraries to TypeScript, but 6 months later I asked the developers at the startup I work at if they would like to use TypeScript on a rewrite of our core application. They had a varied interest in learning it, but they were all open to it. Now that several more months have passed, I finally feel that I'm at a point I can say something. So let's dig in. TypeScript is an Art, Not a Science I've been programming for about 25 years now. I've used dozens of typed languages over the years. But TypeScript was a first in that it was trying to put types on top of a dynamic language. This in itself seems like it would be an incredible feat. But then again dynamically typed languages did so a few decades ago. At one point getting rid of the types was actually seen as progress. When you start with simple examples it all seems familiar enough. You add a few annotations and marvel at how it won't let you assign a string to a number. You make sure your functions have clear parameters and return types and you start feeling like you are getting it. And then you hit a place where you need to pass in different objects. Your first thought is loosening up the definition but then you see an example with generics and realize TypeScript uses generics way more liberally than you are used to with C++ or Java. Even cooler, their type can often be inferred which means you don't even need to annotate and everything magically works. That is until you add a few extra levels on to, and you start coming across the inconsistencies, or the places where types can't be inferred. The other day I was helping my lead dev work through some typings on factory function that produces hooks that return CSS in JS generated classes that are a result of the style definition passed into the factory and props passed into the hook. He had something very basic and couldn't quite figure out why his types weren't working. So I sat down and started using generics to assign multiple values and creating wrappers to project types for return values. Someone how after a couple of tries I got it working for the most part. I admit I felt pretty good about myself, but the developer looked bewildered. You see he thought he was finally getting TypeScript and he had no idea what I had just done. So I spent the next half an hour explaining it. In the end, he got it, but he still didn't feel any better about it as he would have never thought about it that way. And truthfully I was in the same boat months earlier. You've heard the saying that programming is art? Developers choose how to model their problems and have their own stylistic approach. Everyone's code is different. I remember when I was a young developer I'd try to find the most clever way to solve a problem and feel so proud before a senior developer tore a hole in it and asked why I just didn't do the simplest thing. Over time my code got more directed and less frivolous. TypeScript has so many tools to do seemingly similar things since JavaScript has so much potential, that you might easily take a tact that can't get you 100% of the way there. It's very difficult to know what the right way is unless you've experienced it. But since it is impossible to safely type all things in JavaScript you don't even know if what you are trying to do is possible or if you are just thinking about the issue wrong. This leads to a very strange scenario that the more complex the issue even when you go for help, communicating the intent of the code is as important as the function. When talking about possible solutions it isn't unlike people looking at modern art trying to critique the intent and the emotion of a toilet paper roll nailed to a wall. You can spend hours perfecting an elegant solution to your types without shipping any new workable code. It makes you feel really good and clever when you get it right. It is metaprogramming to the highest degree. It gets even more awkward when you are trying to use a 3rd party library who is more concerned about spending several months getting it right than getting something out that works (while in meanwhile the current types are effectively broken). As I alluded to previously, programming itself has these characteristics, but it's super strange when your tools do too. That level of uncertainty, that need to solve a puzzle with your tools completely on the side of the programming problem you are solving is the kind of thing that I can see developers liking given their personality as problem solvers, but when it comes down to things like efficiency and productivity it is excess. Every time I use TypeScript and I realize that I remember being that young and unexperienced programmer just doing a lot of unnecessary stuff. TypeScript focuses on Ceremony I often wonder how many people who rave about TypeScript have ever really used JavaScript. I used CoffeeScript for 5 years almost exclusively and only returned to ES6 for the last couple of years. I wouldn't recommend people move over to CoffeeScript today except perhaps to appreciate some of its qualities briefly. CoffeeScript in some ways is the absolute opposite of TypeScript exemplifying the other characteristics of JavaScript. Forget types. You don't even declare variables for the most part. If you read the way these people talk about JavaScript I can only imagine what they'd think of CoffeeScript. Would it surprise you that CoffeeScript increased productivity over JavaScript for our team? This was a different time and I'm not sure it would do as much now. But let me paint the picture. Writing CoffeeScript is a lot like writing pseudocode. So after you plan out how you are going to approach your programming task, you tend to just throw stuff up. Need a new variable just start using it. Getting an idea up was incredibly fast. The syntax being terse was nice as something that would be 80 lines in JavaScript would be about 30 lines in CoffeeScript. Sure you'd run it realize it didn't quite work since you missed a null check. And you'd add a ? (null coalescing operator). Then you realize your logic was wrong in the 2nd loop. So you need to do a refactor. What I've witnessed with TypeScript is that 30 line CoffeeScript file is now 150 lines. I can't see the whole thing in my IDE window anymore without scrolling. At about the same time the CoffeeScript developer is starting the refactor the TypeScript developer has just reconciled all the types and is about to run their code for the first time. Type annotation doesn't take much time unless you need to look up Types you don't know (seriously for the browser MDN is such a lifesaver here), but the tendency here is to ensure everything matches that it all works out the first time you run it. Sure the TypeScript developer never has that run where the browser spits out Cannot read 'name' of undefined but by the time they are realizing their logic is wrong in the 2nd loop our first developer is already testing the refactor. Many JavaScript developers are very used to just throwing stuff against a wall and see if it sticks sort of development. They rapidly test ideas without the code being perfect. This just wasn't a luxury afforded compiled languages. If you are going to wait a couple of minutes you better make sure your code works before you hit build. To me, it isn't that different from the difference between waterfall and agile methodologies. We know that some larger companies can still have some issues being as agile and I feel the argument for TypeScript is sort of similar. Now don't get me wrong. The CoffeeScript probably produced more bugs, but trying something can often reveal when your assumptions are wrong quicker. Waste less time perfecting something you aren't going to use anyway. TypeScript is Noisy As in it has a higher noise to signal ratio. Less of the code you are looking at is functional. I've already talked about more code being required but this goes beyond initial development. I know this is perhaps more opinion based but when Dan Abramov (React Core Team) recently tweeted that when he looks at someone else's code the Types actually get in the way of him seeing the code, I realized I wasn't alone. Type information can be noise when you are just trying to see the flow. Truthfully this is less of an issue compared to the last as it doesn't change how you approach coding. But it is something. We can filter out the annotations pretty readily but simply function declarations going from one line to 5 lines starts you on a path where you are always looking at less. TypeScript is a Subset of JavaScript I can't impress this one enough. Technically is a superset from a feature support perspective. However, people use it so they have compile-time type checking so once that becomes a requirement for you there are just things you can't do with TypeScript. I hit this right away when writing Solid.js. It uses JSX in a completely different way than React, it has a lot of functional patterns like currying, and functions that support paths and dynamic arguments. Not to mention at its core it is incredibly tuned for performance so I was unwilling to change what the underlying JavaScript compiled to. I kid you not with 3 weeks I ran into over a dozen unsolved TypeScript issues with open tickets and reported 2 more myself. I have received a lot of help from the TypeScript community and have no ill will towards the people working on it and supporting it. But when for the solutions that are solvable the best options are: change your API or add another function call to get the compiler to work the way you want, I was understandably very uncooperative. Ultimately I settled on not having custom bindings with $ prefixes in the JSX attributes, using JSX namespaces, and introducing intrinsic elements with special characters (all things supported by the JSX spec). I introduced another syntax against my better judgement to avoid paths. I just think is vital to understand that there are a ton of patterns you'd do with JavaScript that cannot be made type-safe and many more that would require an expert to determine if it is. Obviously, as a lower-level library writer, I hit these right away, but I've even seen these affect application developers. They've had to change the way they would approach an interopt layer since it wasn't as TypeScript friendly. Similarly hitting weird TypeScript only idiosyncrasies when using 3rd party libraries. Pretend you haven't sold your soul to TypeScript and read this guide for Material UI. Why would I ever sign up for this? Conclusion If you treat TypeScript as a language in its own right, with albeit a smaller feature set than JavaScript, you will do just fine. If you treat TypeScript as JavaScript with types you will be disappointed. The thing is despite how terrible of an experience I or those around with me have had we are sticking with it. As a library writer it makes a lot of sense since there are many people that want it. It hasn't meant any compromise thus far that I wasn't willing to make so I'm committed to supporting it. I know somewhere in my head by doing so I'm limiting my creativity. Some of my more interesting ideas don't work with TypeScript so taking this position might compromise my motivation to look into them. But Solid.js, as it is today, is already very impressive. On my team, it was split. The backend developers did not have a hard time with TypeScript and their solution scaled with their knowledge as they've found better ways to structure their project. However, on the frontend, it has been nearly a disaster. TypeScript has basically dictated other technology choices. Where we've been like use TypeScript or use this library. So far we've sided with TypeScript because of the promise of what it brings. In hindsight, I would have never introduced it there but I feel like we are starting to get over the hump so the time invested is worth seeing it through. It's just ironic that many of the advertised benefits I believe are actually detrimental. TypeScript doesn't improve productivity or readability. It doesn't particularly improve on modern JavaScript feature set. If anything it restricts what you can do. But it isn't all negative. It pushes developers to document code. It sets a contract when dealing with 3rd party APIs. However, the biggest win I think is it makes developers more comfortable. It inspires developer confidence which is something we can all get behind even if the language itself might be the worst mess of compromise I've witnessed in my 25 years of programming. TypeScript might not be the language we need, but it is the language we deserve for now. Source: The Trouble with TypeScript – DEV

    Read at 11:59 am, Sep 8th

  • I'm Joining the MarkoJS Core Team - DEV

    I'm Joining the MarkoJS Core Team Ryan Carniato Jul 21・4 min read That's right. I'm excited to announce I will be joining the MarkoJS core team at eBay. For those who are unfamiliar, Marko is an ultra performant compiler-based JavaScript UI Library. It's an open-source project that is owned by the OpenJS Foundation, but it was developed in house at eBay and the majority of eBay's eCommerce platform is built with it. Why this is exciting At first glance, Marko might look like another compiler-based library like Svelte. But with Marko being built for high-performance eCommerce, where millisecond delays translate to a loss of sales, they've attacked the problem from a completely different angle. It is an SSR first library. Everything that was done right from inception has been to provide the most performant SSR experience. The techniques that they have been using for over half a decade in production on one of the world's biggest eCommerce platforms are things that libraries like React or Vue are only just dipping their toes into. I'm talking streaming asynchronous SSR, progressive, and partial hydration. These are things Next, Nuxt, Sapper, Gatsby wish they could leverage. Admittedly I was skeptical a bit at first when I looked at their benchmarks (like: https://github.com/marko-js/isomorphic-ui-benchmarks). Which one always should be with synthetic benchmarks. But then I dissected them in my usual fashion, implemented versions for other libraries like Svelte and completely reverse engineered to the most optimal vanilla JavaScript techniques. Marko scores performance numbers several times higher than other isomorphic libraries. I even realized in one of the tests that while Inferno looked close, the only reason was that the implementation wasn't escaping certain properties (a security vulnerability). Marko is heads above the competition on server performance. It's not even remotely close. And that's before considering Marko 5 is is just around the corner. They've completely revised their compiler/build chain and further increased the ability to support multiple renderers and render targets. So Why Me? If we are on the topic of significant performance differences, my library SolidJS has drawn similar attention in the browser. This is an area where Marko hasn't really stood out. It trades blows with React's performance in the browser. But Marko's a compiler. There is no reason why we can't use the techniques I've worked on the past 5 years to make Marko a performance leader in both environments. More so, the granular techniques I've been developing are a reactive analog to things like Concurrent Mode coming up from React. This is an area that is yet to be tapped to its full potential and Marko, already a champion of SSR, is uniquely positioned to provide one of the best isomorphic stories. Backed by a company clearly invested in its success, it has the capability to make it a reality. What about SolidJS? Nothing changes. I've worked Solid completely in my own time for years, while working long hours for a startup. So that doesn't change. Solid is the effort of a few core contributors championing a reactively transparent, functional programming driven paradigm. I think Solid has huge potential, and it will continue to grow organically. I've recently been making large strides into SSR, we've been building the website and new tooling, and the API has been stabilizing towards a 1.0 release. If anything I expect my work with Marko to broaden my perspective. To me, this is more like backing both horses because Solid and Marko while in the same space represent 2 very different philosophical goals. Marko is more than a compiler. It's a language. Solid might use a compiler but it is very JS(or TS) forward. There are just certain types of things easier/harder to do with both approaches. Certain decisions where the right answer is the complete opposite for each. I feel truly blessed for the opportunity to be involved with both projects. I get to explore both the "It's just JavaScript" and the "It's not a framework, it's a language" paradigms to their fullest extent. And for those who care about web performance, I think that is something to get excited about. The TL;DR You can expect some Marko specific content coming your way. I'm still learning it, so perhaps you can learn along with me. SolidJS isn't going away. I'm just now involved with 2 of the fastest JavaScript UI frameworks. Source: I’m Joining the MarkoJS Core Team – DEV

    Read at 11:57 am, Sep 8th

  • Performative leadership.

    Earlier this year, I realized that I had been using the term “performative” incorrectly. This led to an interesting discussion, with Laura sharing the proper definition, and Julia pointing out that literally no one uses the term as it’s “properly” defined.

    Read at 03:08 am, Sep 8th

  • Accessibility Testing is like Making Coffee

    Some Background I had the privilege of creating course material to teach accessibility testing for work this past quarter. I agonized over what to include, how to deliver it, how to make it approachable.

    Read at 03:07 am, Sep 8th

  • Automattic Tangles with Apple Over Lack of In-App Purchases in the WordPress for iOS App

    Over the weekend, Matt Mullenweg announced on Twitter that Apple’s App Store had blocked Automattic from shipping updates to WordPress’ official iOS app. Automattic doesn’t sell anything for WordPress.

    Read at 03:01 am, Sep 8th

  • Robot Teachers, Racist Algorithms, and Disaster Pedagogy

    I have volunteered to be a guest speaker in classes this Fall. It's really the least I can do to help teachers and students through another tough term. I spoke tonight in Dorothy Kim's class "Race Before Race: Premodern Critical Race Studies." Here's a bit of what I said...

    Read at 02:59 am, Sep 8th

Day of Sep 7th, 2020

  • How Fast Should Your Site Load?

    Go ask Google. You’ll find a bunch of articles telling you that 2–5 seconds does the trick. But what makes 2–5 seconds the prescribed range? Your gut tells you that the answer has to be more complicated than that. Congratulations. You’re right.

    Read at 10:06 pm, Sep 7th

  • What Would Bernie Bomb?

    In 2020, Sanders is campaigning as a peace candidate. But his congressional record, and his top foreign policy adviser, suggest that events could turn him into a war president. Bernie Sanders’ top foreign policy adviser has an unusual résumé for someone in that role.

    Read at 04:26 pm, Sep 7th

  • Markus Thurner

    Hello! What's your background and what do you do? I am the engineering lead for the data platform team at Cimpress, a globally distributed team of 40 people.

    Read at 04:26 pm, Sep 7th

  • The Black Panther Party’s multiracial anti-fascism

    In the late 60s and 70s, the Black Panther Party (BPP) embodied the vanguard of the revolution and anti-fascist, anti-racist action in the United States.

    Read at 03:55 pm, Sep 7th

  • Disney Brought Dishonour To Us All: A Film Review of Disney’s Live Action Mulan – A Naga of the Nusantara

    .post-thumbnail Mulan (Liu Yifei) Oh boy. Oh brother. Where do I even begin with this… this nonsense? There will be spoilers, and I say that as if I give a shit. Okay, usually I would do a bit of research, reading, and maybe even talk to some friends before I review something but fuck it, I am only going to put in about the same amount of effort that had apparently been invested into this movie (i.e. minimal). I am Chinese and I am also a fan of Disney films, and I am very easy to please. Do you know how easy it is to please me? I’ll tell you. I actually don’t hate most of Disney’s naked money-grabbing live action remakes that they’ve been pushing out in recent years. That’s the truth. I’ll pay money just to watch diluted versions of their classical animated canon because I am that kind of patsy who is in his 30’s and am utterly, shamelessly susceptible to nostalgia. And I would venture to say that Disney would have done a much better job by me if they had simply stuck to the same playbook they used for Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, and The Lion King. Remake it shot by shot. Play us the same catchy songs. That way at least, they would just be revisiting the original gauche liberties they took with Chinese culture back in 1998. But nooo, they have elected instead to abandon their old mistakes in order to commit new hate crimes against the Chinese people. How is it that there are way more Chinese people involved in this new version of Mulan and we still end up with a less culturally-reverent movie? Firstly, Mulan is no longer just an ordinary woman doing extraordinary things. She is now a superhero. Yeap, they just straight up gave her superpowers. The film summed up these special abilities Mulan displays as “qi” but it’s really just the ability to use wire-fu. But in Gong Li’s witch character’s case, qi allows her to literally turn into a freaking hawk. Or eagle. Or whatever bird of prey she is suppose to be (I’m not looking it up). That’s right, her qi allows her to be a goddamn animagus. And sometimes, she can turn into a whole flock of smaller birds too. And possess people. Like folding her whole ass body into the body of another person. How the fuck she does all that? “Qi”. I can’t believe I am saying this but the Kung Fu Panda films actually have a more accurate representation of what qi is. And Disney is really flooring the pedal on the soulless corporate token feminism that they saddled nuBelle and nuJasmine with. The use of qi in Mulan is conflated with witchcraft. That’s Gong Li’s whole backstory. The reason she helps a bunch of nomadic Rouran invaders to conquer China in the movie is because she was exiled for being a qi-using witch (and not, as I initially surmised, for robbing Rita Repulsa’s wardrobe or wearing that breastplate that looks like a giant spiky clam eating her boobs). Witchcraft is apparently against ancient Chinese law or something. And Mulan is supposedly in danger of being shunned like Gong Li if she is discovered having these special qi powers. Now, we Chinese really didn’t have the same history with witches as countries with a Judeo-Christian background, and the use of sorcery in Chinese folklore and belief is not even gendered. So it is baffling to me why this whole misogyny-against-witches thing from Western culture got shoehorned into what is suppose to be historical fiction about a badass soldier woman. There is enough regular sexism in Chinese history without trying to invoke the Salem witch trials here. They also replaced Mulan’s talking animal dragon sidekick with a mute and conspicuously CGI guardian phoenix. There is a lot of symbolism associated with the Chinese phoenix (what we call fenghuang) and one of the things it represents is femininity. That I approve of, actually, but a fenghuang is not a phoenix, which I suspect the filmmakers aren’t aware of when they also used the bloody bird to symbolise Mulan rising up after being brought low. Now, the western phoenix is all about that jazz—rebirth, renewal, reincarnation in flames—but that is NOT at all what the fenghuang symbolises. In fact, it represents the empress, so for most of the movie, I actually wondered if Mulan is going to marry Emperor Jet Li eventually, or kill him and take his place because he is the fucking patriarchy incarnate. The Rourans were certainly more egalitarian—they employ Gong Li after all, while Mulan has to crossdress to even join the Emperor’s army. They tried to invoke a few of the gags from the original animated movie surrounding Mulan’s difficulties in pretending to be a man in an all-male army camp, but they fell flat because the tone of this new Mulan movie is far more sombre. All the gaiety that the original songs brought to the story are either missing in this movie or reduced to wispy wordless leitmotifs. I don’t know what they did to Donnie Yen, Jet Li and Gong Li but their line deliveries are so painfully wooden that they should be checked for termites. Perhaps it came from them being thanklessly saddled with fortune cookie dialogues that do not reflect how Chinese people communicate at all—that is when they aren’t forcing in lines from the animated Mulan inorganically to remind us over and over again how much we prefer the original. My wife and I burst out laughing multiple times while watching this film at moments that were totally meant to be heartfelt and serious. The worst (and thus, most hilarious) moment was after the Huns Rourans were buried under an avalanche they stupidly triggered themselves, and Donnie Yen declared, “We won the battle!” as if they did anything when in fact, the bad guy army just basically committed suicide on a massive scale. Speaking of suicide, why would the Emperor just walk right into an obvious trap with a tiny retinue? The head Rouran chieftain went like, “let’s settle this mano a mano in this construction site” and Emperor Jet Li just obliges him? Dude, your subjects died for you to keep you safe! What the fuck, man? Not cool. None of the battle tactics employed by either side made sense either. There is a point when Donnie Yen moved his entire (outnumbered) army out of a defensible fort to meet the proto-Mongol Rouran army (consisting mostly of cavalry) on a flat plain. Students of Chinese history might recall what happened when Yang Guozhong ordered his troops to leave the almost impregnable Tong Pass to meet An Lushan on an open field (spoiler alert: it was a Bad Idea). And one striking thing about Chinese battles in history was the huge size of the armies fielded, and they usually number in the thousands or tens of thousands, but the armies in Mulan are comically small. They make the fights look like Ren Fair enactments in which the participants are practicing social distancing. Do you know how dumb a flanking manoeuvre looks with just half a dozen horsemen? I do now. Now, I can forgive a lot if they actually gave us some competent martial arts choreography, and I’m not gonna lie, that was what I was banking on when they said that this Mulan is not going to be a musical—but if you are looking for a good kung fu flick, Mulan is not it either. The fights are disappointingly short and choppy, and for all the racket they raised around Mulan’s qi powers, she mostly uses it to execute scorpion kicks repeatedly to fling spears, arrows, whatnots at her opponents. Seems like she took Bruce Lee’s advice to heart and practiced that one kick 10,000 times. Presumably because it looks pretty. You may notice I have not mentioned much about the guyliner-wearing Shan Yu knock off Bori Khan, or the love interest guy who replaced Li Shang. That’s because there is nothing about them worth mentioning. They can gobble each others’ butts for all I care. The only character I don’t hate is Cricket, because he is precious and must be protected at all cost. This movie was written and directed by a bunch of white people and it really, really shows. Don’t go see it. Go rewatch the original animated Mulan film and enjoy it with my Chinese blessings. Heck, go watch Kung Fu Panda 1, 2 and 3. They are actually more respectful of Chinese lore and tropes than this fiery slab of shit. I don’t know how they did it, but I am super impressed that they somehow managed to perpetrate cultural appropriation with a cast full of Chinese people. Ratings: 1/5 Naga Pearls Like this: Like Loading... Related .entry-content .entry-footer Published by A Naga of the Nusantara A Naga is a divine dragon from Eastern Hindu-Buddhist tradition. The Nusantara is made up of nusa (island) and antara (between) and describes the Southeast Asian archipelago that includes Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Papua New Guinea. This particular Naga is Malaysian, born and bred. He loves reading and hoarding books, and enjoys bothering humans with what he thinks of them. View more posts .author-description .author-bio Source: Disney Brought Dishonour To Us All: A Film Review of Disney’s Live Action Mulan – A Naga of the Nusantara

    Read at 02:36 pm, Sep 7th

  • The Eco–Yogi Slumlords of 1214 Dean Street, Brooklyn

    Gennaro Brooks-Church at 1214 Dean Street as nearly 100 activists protest his attempt to evict his tenants. Photo: Ben Verde The battle of 1214 Dean Street commenced on a warm afternoon in early July. Angie Martinez, a 24-year-old Brooklyn native and barista, returned home to the Crown Heights rowhouse she shared with eight roommates to find her landlords, Gennaro Brooks-Church and his ex-partner, Loretta Gendville, crowding the front door with their three children, two dogs, two handymen, and a mattress. Martinez had been paying them $865 a month via Venmo for a room with one window, no heat, and no working fire alarm. The run-down four-story structure, classified as a single-family home by the City of New York, had been illegally converted and rented out by the room. In March, at the start of the coronavirus pandemic, several tenants, including Martinez, had lost their jobs, and in April, many in the house had stopped paying rent. Now, Brooks-Church and Gendville seemed to be moving in. As Martinez approached 1214 from the street, she saw a few of her fellow tenants huddled on the steps outside. Gendville, a wiry blonde in her 40s, screamed at them, calling them squatters. Once inside, she roamed through the house, tenants say, with Brooks-Church close behind. One tenant told Gothamist that Gendville had grabbed her by the wrist as she was getting dressed in her room, ordering her to “get the fuck out.” Martinez called 911. Another tenant discovered Gendville’s two sons, ages 8 and 12, eating Popsicles in the kitchen. “It’s so nice to be home,” one of them said. When the handymen started to change the locks, several tenants decided it was better to leave, grabbing what they could and putting their belongings on the street. After a while, the police arrived. When Martinez identified herself as a tenant, the cops said they were responding to a call from Gendville and Brooks-Church, who had also apparently dialed 911. They told Martinez that the landlords said they had nowhere else to go. Since it was their house, police said, they couldn’t make the owners leave. They told Martinez to think of the family as her new roommates. At the same time, Gendville and Brooks-Church could not legally remove the tenants on their own: Not only was a moratorium on evictions in place during the pandemic, but the law requires evictions to be carried out by a sheriff armed with a court order. Returning to her room, Martinez discovered that her mail had been spread out on her bed next to someone’s discarded sun hat. Gendville and the kids eventually left, but Brooks-Church planted himself in the living room. “He was sitting on my chair,” Martinez says. “Just sitting there, all night.” The next day, he was still there. One of the tenants contacted organizers at the anti-gentrification group Equality for Flatbush, which put out an appeal on Instagram for reinforcements. “urgent,” it read. “Illegal Lock Out in Progress 1214 Dean Street — Go and Support Tenants Now!” By the time the sun went down, close to a hundred people, mostly young Brooklynites with their bikes, were crowded into the front yard and spilling onto the sidewalk. They chanted through their face masks at the gray-haired and -bearded Brooks-Church, dressed in a gray T-shirt and shorts, who stood, stone-faced, on the porch above. Someone beat a tambourine. At around 10 p.m., a human chain of protesters rushed the front door, and Brooks-Church, overwhelmed, fled to his SUV. Over the next two days, the occupiers held watch over 1214 Dean, sustained by donated pizza and beer. As word of the occupation spread, it became apparent that the landlords were not just New Yorkers of considerable means. They were an ethically sourced, non-GMO, unmarried poster couple for a certain Brooklyn-specific subset of their tax bracket. Brooks-Church, 49, was a “green builder” with a construction company called Eco Brooklyn who had spoken about sustainability at the Brooklyn Public Library; he was a vocal advocate for designating the Gowanus Canal a Superfund site, making it eligible for environmental protections. He did CrossFit. Gendville, 45, was the owner of a restaurant called Planted Community Cafe and a local chain of yoga studios, spas, and children’s stores called Area — a “mini-mogul,” according to the New York Times. The pair were currently renting out a brownstone they owned on Airbnb not five miles away, with a tree house and turtle pond, for nearly $800 a night. What could drive two yogic, environmentally conscious, vegan brownstoners to kick out their unemployed tenants during a global pandemic? “You white liberal phony fake selfish motherfucker!” a Connecticut College professor who had biked to 1214 screamed at Brooks-Church during the protest. “You belong in a Charles Dickens novel!” He was not far off, though the landlords are more Artful Dodger than Ebenezer Scrooge. Underlying their apparent success is a tangle of questionable business and real-estate practices — some brazen, others not uncommon for entrepreneurs like Brooks-Church and Gendville, small-time prospectors mining for gold in the postrecession Wild West of Brooklyn gentrification. For those in their orbit, their public cruelty at 1214 Dean Street was not an isolated moment of madness but the inevitable culmination of years of greed and exploitation, exacerbated by the pandemic, in which even those who staked a claim in the Brooklyn boom are finding themselves unable to survive the bust. Though they own two businesses and six properties in one of the country’s most expensive real-estate markets, the landlords were apparently homeless. “I used to call them the Brooklyn Heights Bonnie and Clyde,” says a former Area employee. “I had a Google alert set on them for just this kind of thing.” Gennaro Brooks-Church and his then-partner, Loretta Gendville, became media darlings during the Brooklyn boom. Photo: Kelly Marshall (Brooks-Church); Philip Greenberg (Gendville). Gennaro Brooks-Church and his then-partner, Loretta Gendville, became media darlings during the Brooklyn boom. Photo: Kelly Marshall (Brooks-Church); ... more Gennaro Brooks-Church and his then-partner, Loretta Gendville, became media darlings during the Brooklyn boom. Photo: Kelly Marshall (Brooks-Church); Philip Greenberg (Gendville). By all accounts, Loretta Gendville is not a yogi. She did, however, predict the exact moment that two things were about to take off in Brooklyn: yoga and babies. Gendville grew up outside Chicago and moved to Williamsburg in her early 20s, trained in Swedish massage. Her first venture — funded, she said, with “small private loans” and her American Express card — was a spa in Carroll Gardens in 1998. Two years later, she opened her first yoga studio, on Smith Street, followed by her first retail store, Area Yoga & Baby, which carried maternity and workout clothes. Gendville met Brooks-Church in an Area Yoga class, according to a person who has known the couple for more than a decade. He was “this sexy Spanish guy,” a flâneur type. He had grown up mostly on the resort island of Ibiza, the son of outlaw parents, hippies hunted by the Feds for two antiwar bombings in the ’80s until his mother turned herself in and his father reportedly got caught in Arkansas trying to pick up $6 million in cocaine. Brooks-Church became an adherent of Human Design, a pseudoscience combining astrology and chakras, which was created on Ibiza in 1992 by an advertising executive named Alan Krakower, who claimed to have received messages on the meaning of life from an entity called “the Voice.” Brooks-Church worked as a photographer before moving to New York in 1997 to study comparative religion and creative writing at Columbia. After he and Gendville began dating, they purchased the house at 1214 Dean Street in 2002 and lived there together for a time. In 2008, they bought another old brownstone, this one in the tonier Carroll Gardens, at 22 2nd Street, for $1.4 million. There, they raised their daughter and had two sons. They had planned to refinance their mortgage to pay for a gut renovation of the house, but the global financial collapse made it impossible to get a loan. Brooks-Church was forced to renovate the house himself, and, in his telling, his eco-building business was born. During the Great Recession, “Northwest Brooklyn” — the real-estate designation for the area that stretches from Brooklyn Heights to Park Slope — fared better than its neighbors to the east, where families of color were three times as likely to default on their mortgages. The mostly white stroller neighborhood where Gendville and Brooks-Church had invested didn’t just survive — it exploded. “Even in the dumps of a recession, as storefronts go dark in other parts of New York, the Smith Street boomlet churns on,” the Times observed. Gendville rapidly expanded her company to fit the new demographic’s needs. By 2012, she had nine Area Kids stores in the borough, along with two yoga studios, a spa, and a salon. Bloggers complained that Area’s mandala logo was the neighborhood’s Starbucks mermaid, but Gendville received accolades for her green and “aggressively local” businesses, which banned plastic bags long before the city did. In 2015, Gendville somewhat notoriously put up a Bernie Sanders poster in one of her stores a few months after Hillary Clinton had visited the location. “Hillary Clinton is, you know, more in the game with all of the corporations, which I’m against,” she told BuzzFeed. (According to public records, Gendville has not voted since 2012.) Brooks-Church, meanwhile, fashioned himself as a kind of Brooklyn frontiersman, turning up in local-news stories for various eco-adornments he made to the 2nd Street brownstone, including a freshwater pond and a tree house. In 2011, he tried to build a literal man cave under his front yard, a project eventually shut down by the Department of Buildings. On his blog, Eco Brooklyn, he sneered at neighbors who complained about his efforts and knocked commercial developers, calling Bruce Ratner, the megadeveloper behind the Barclays Center, a “scumbag liar” who lacked “the integrity, leadership, and understanding of how Brooklyn works.” A 2013 profile of Brooks-Church in Bklynr, a local publication, reads like dreamy brownstone porn. “In the kitchen, light streamed in through floor-to-ceiling windows,” it gushes, “as his girlfriend, a baby in her arm, cooked up some eggs on a stainless steel range. Their two other children ran around the townhouse on floors made of salvaged wood.” But the couple were scattered, chaotic bosses. Even as the eco-renovations and Area outlets proliferated, the empire seemed to operate on a shoestring. Gendville flitted between storefronts in her van; Brooks-Church would appear unannounced to make repairs at studios during class. Nearly a dozen yoga teachers, most of whom were employed as independent contractors rather than full-time staff, say that pay at Area was low and rarely on time. Teachers liked the freedom they had under an absentee Gendville to design their own classes, but some tired of having to show up at 2nd Street to ask for their checks in person. “It was just kind of a mess all the time,” says Keri Setaro, who ran yoga-teacher training at Area. Another calls Gendville “the Queen of Loopholes.” Work-study students cleaned the yoga studios, unpaid, during “karma hours” in exchange for classes, and employees did double duty as receptionists at the Area spa or wrapping gifts at Area stores. “She really thought that just because they worked for her, she owned them,” one former instructor says. Occasionally, employees would be sent to drop something off at 1214 Dean, a linchpin in Gendville and Brooks-Church’s other business endeavor: real-estate investment. Aside from Dean Street and 2nd Street, Gendville owned a two-family home on Beadel Street in Bushwick, which she bought in 1997, and the couple added another Carroll Gardens brownstone on Douglass Street in 2005. By 2009, they owned nearly $3 million in property. For a few years, they also owned a house on Fire Island. (“I thought they were peace, love, and happiness types,” recalls a neighbor. “They were artists.”) In most of their purchases, they managed to put down just 10 percent. “We had great credit and a great track record of always paying our mortgages on time,” blogged Brooks-Church, who claimed to be a licensed real-estate broker. (No record of such an accreditation appears to exist.) For at least a decade, while they lived at 22 2nd Street, Brooks-Church and Gendville illegally rented out Dean Street to all manner of young, upstart Brooklyn arrivals. The couple approached their landlord role in the same casual, disorderly way they approached the yoga studios. Their tenants, to some degree, didn’t entirely mind. 1214 was run like a commune: Occupants found each other on Craigslist or via word of mouth; very few, if any, signed leases; they paid their rent via apps. “We composted, we had parties, house meetings,” recalls Rachel Rosado, a former tenant who also worked for Gendville at Area. “It was special.” Your walls will be full of rat skeletons,” the landlord warned tenants. “Their souls will haunt you. But there were downsides, too. Tenants say the gas was routinely shut off when the landlords failed to pay the bill (Gendville is currently a defendant in four civil suits filed by Brooklyn Union Gas and Con Edison). The heating was often faulty. The floor in one of the bathrooms was caving in. Rats would suddenly appear at parties. Some problems were inherent to the conversion; the house is classified as a one-family dwelling and is not intended to host two kitchens and nine people. Gendville and Brooks-Church weren’t registered as the landlords with the Department of Housing Preservation & Development. Instead, they posted signs on their rental properties that warned DO NOT LET ANYONE FROM THE CITY IN. NO EXCEPTIONS. The reason became clear in 2018: After the Fire Department responded to a small oven fire, the FDNY reported the illegal conversion and the couple were fined more than $2,000. Over the past two years alone, according to the city, Gendville has racked up $49,130 in unpaid fines from a host of violations at 1214. When tenants demanded Brooks-Church take care of the rat situation, he warned them that their “walls will be full of rat skeletons. Their souls will haunt you.” A debate over whether he would shovel snow in front of the home, as required by tenant laws, ended with him writing, “So sue me.” Gendville was kinder but equally unhelpful. “It was a good-cop, bad-cop type of thing,” says one tenant. Another agrees: “Gennaro was the muscle, the henchman.” Tenants would joke about the irony of Brooks-Church sending them aggressive emails refusing to maintain the property above his “Eco Brooklyn” signature. The rent rose, but tenants felt powerless. As the city’s affordable-housing shortage deepened, finding a room in Brooklyn often felt like choosing between bad and worse. “Trying to find a place in New York is always some level of desperation,” says one tenant, who stumbled across 1214 after a previous housing debacle. Gendville and Brooks-Church’s business ventures ran like a well-oiled, if extremely tenuous, machine. On the surface, they catered to the upper crunchy crust of Brooklyn, hawking imported wooden toys, prenatal-yoga classes, and rooftop gardens to gentrifiers with money to burn. But it was “yoga on the outside, pure capitalism on the inside,” as one former Area employee puts it. Behind the scenes, Gendville and Brooks-Church were exploiting the city’s growing underclass for a short-term, reliable cash flow: employees working without benefits and tenants paying up to $1,000 each for a single room in an illegal conversion. By this year, it appears, the landlords were pulling in nearly $10,000 a month at Dean Street alone. They squeezed every drop of money they could out of every setup. Brooks-Church offered workers free yoga classes in exchange for a day of labor in his building business. Gendville offered free classes to guests when the couple began renting out both of their Carroll Gardens brownstones on Airbnb and Vrbo for at least $200 a night. Multiple guests at the Douglass Street listing complained in reviews that it looked as if someone had been living in the rooms right up to the moment they arrived. The couple and their children, according to yoga teachers, would sometimes sleep in the yoga studios because every other property was occupied. And still they kept expanding. In 2016, as the next wave of gentrification gathered speed, the couple spent $1.4 million to purchase two properties in Flatbush and East New York. They took out additional mortgages on two of their other homes, accruing more than $2 million in debt in only four months. And why not? Brooklyn home sales continued to break records, and the market’s consensus was as giddy as it was unsustainable. “There was no limit,” recalls Jonathan Miller, a New York real-estate analyst and appraiser. “Even though we always know there is a limit.” Furious protesters storm 1214 Dean Street, occupying the house for two days. Photo: Scott Heins It didn’t take long for the limits to assert themselves. By 2017, just as retail spending was beginning to dip dramatically in the face of online shopping, Gendville had 14 Area stores in the wealthiest neighborhoods in Brooklyn. Commercial rents in the city were becoming untenable, and storefront vacancies had doubled in a decade. Gendville’s employees were baffled that she kept relentlessly taking on leases, given how little she seemed to enjoy running a business. “Loretta likes shiny new things,” says Paula Loose, a former yoga teacher. Others were struck by the contrast between Gendville’s seemingly endless capital and the ragtag conditions in her stores. “Our eyes would get bugged when we’d hear she was taking on another lease,” recalls one teacher. “We’d go, ‘Oh my God, why doesn’t she just get us toilet paper?’ ” In a profile on the news site Brooklyn Ink, Gendville hinted at an impending pivot. “Online shopping is hurting businesses all over,” she lamented. She had installed nearly $16,000 worth of infrared saunas in one of her studios, which she turned into a spa called Area Sweat. “I’m looking to move into being more health related and less retail,” she said. “More yoga, spa, and vegan food.” Then, after almost 20 years, Gendville and Brooks-Church’s romantic partnership came to an abrupt and acrimonious end. Gendville began a relationship with a 22-year-old named Shepherd Lantz, who had been working as her children’s manny. Online, Lantz advertised himself as a carpenter, a pet sitter, a waiter, and a handyman. He had modeled in a portfolio of erotic photography; he had been to Burning Man. After he started working at Area doing odd jobs, he and Gendville were seen holding hands and kissing in the back of yoga classes. Gendville was thrilled over the new romance, but teachers worried about her increasingly erratic behavior. One morning, Setaro came into a studio for a 7 a.m. class to find a group of naked people sleeping under yoga blankets after a party. “When I told Loretta, she was just like, ‘Oh. Okay,’ ” Setaro recalls. Another time, Lantz was found in the studio with an air mattress; one teacher heard he and Gendville had been spending the night on it. A class had to be canceled at the last minute so Gendville could undergo a personal ayahuasca ceremony. In February 2017, she and Lantz were arrested at the Gowanus Whole Foods for shoplifting $1,149 worth of items in a nighttime spree. (The charges were eventually dropped.) The next year, Gendville gave birth to a baby girl. Lantz was the father. The tenants at 1214 Dean Street were pulled into the drama. “I, LORETTA own 70% of dean street and Gennaro is not sharing his rent collection information with the bookkeeper,” Gendville wrote to an email chain of tenants with Brooks-Church cc’d. In 2018, Brooks-Church began renting an apartment on Court Street, which he appointed with $30,000 in plant-covered “living walls.” He had clearly begun to move on: “My sex appeal has definitely increased,” he told the Times. “I’m on social dating apps, and they love my living walls.” The hustle continued. Brooks-Church sublet rooms in his new apartment on Airbnb; as tenants at 1214 continued to deal with utility cutoffs and rats scuttling in the walls, guests on Court Street left five-star reviews. That same year, Gendville was charged $17,000 in penalties for renting out rooms at their building on East 54th Street in Flatbush for “illegal transient use.” The fines remain unpaid. Around the same time, Gendville opened her vegan restaurant, Planted Community Cafe, along with a nascent CBD business. She closed all but three of her yoga studios; some teachers heard she’d paid dearly to get out of at least one lease. In June 2019, she wrote Area employees with an offer. “I am super busy with the new cafe & baby #4 and trying to unwind my responsibilities just a little bit lol,” she said. “I am open to ideas & partnerships or selling leases.” But nothing materialized. Teacher turnover remained high, and those who remained complained of cold studios, spotty Wi-Fi, and broken sound systems. Class prices, however, went up. Then the pandemic hit. In March, all nonessential businesses in the state shut down. Almost overnight, the revenue streams Gendville and Brooks-Church relied on vanished: The restaurant and yoga studios closed, Airbnb rentals came to an abrupt halt, and a quarter of all New York tenants stopped paying rent. The couple were carrying nine mortgages, totaling $4.6 million, on six properties. Even if the houses they own are worth more than $9 million, as estimated by Zillow, that money in the short term is inaccessible. In April, Gendville requested a continuation on a loan from Citibank, as her yoga teachers began asking her for their last checks. She responded that her computer had been stolen and she was waiting for a loan. The best way to get paid, she said, was to friend her on Venmo. “This is not only irresponsible as a business, but it is cruel,” one teacher wrote to the Area email group. “I am fed up with this.” That Gendville and Brooks-Church tried to move into a house that was still occupied by tenants, in the middle of a highly publicized eviction moratorium, is perhaps the most revealing indicator of their distress. It is also an indication of how little they feared punishment. One reading of Brooks-Church and Gendville’s faltering empire is a tale of a couple who simply got in over their heads. From what Miller, the appraiser, can surmise, the math stopped working “well before COVID,” given the double whammy of falling retail sales and rising commercial rents. “They can’t keep it going without selling some of the assets,” he says. “They’re running into roadblocks of their own making.” Another way to look at their downward spiral is as a parable of a housing market that is not primarily intended, or even incentivized, to actually house people. “We don’t finance housing in this country,” says Ron Shiffman, a city planner and tenured professor at Pratt’s School of Architecture. Instead, housing serves as a “financing tool.” The market encourages buyers, whether Saudi princes or the owners of yoga studios, to treat homes like banks, as places to put their money, whether or not they actually live in them. It also motivates developers to build luxury properties with the highest returns, housing fewer residents. In New York, the pandemic brought the dangers of this system painfully to light, as mass economic devastation made many people, even landlords like Gendville and Brooks-Church, suddenly desperate for real-time shelter. “The housing market isn’t meeting the needs of people who are working, who are living, in New York,” Shiffman says. Brooklyn’s runaway success, it turns out, was built on an economic disparity so intense that it has created a microgeneration of gentrifiers like Brooks-Church and Gendville who are now being priced out themselves. There isn’t a more explicit symbol of a housing market totally divorced from its human context than the eviction attempt at 1214 Dean. The tenants were largely in their 20s and 30s. Many were queer, Black or brown, and employed in low-wage service jobs. In April, after several of them were laid off, they told Gendville and Brooks-Church that they would be withholding their rent. The following month, they received a one-line email from Brooks-Church informing them that the house would be put on the market “within the next month or two.” Then, on July 2, tenants say Brooks-Church suddenly showed up at the house, demanding they pay their rent. He woke up two women who were sleeping in a room on the top floor; they jumped up to dig money from their wallets. Another woman who had recently lost her job was in her room, recovering from an emergency craniotomy to remove a mass of brain tumors. After Brooks-Church left, she emailed Gendville, begging for a move-out date of August 15. “I’m under the most stress I have ever been in my life,” she wrote. “I hope you can empathize with my situation. I am sorry this year has happened to anyone.” “I don’t know who you are,” Gendville wrote back. “Who is this?” The following week, when she and Brooks-Church showed up at 1214 with their kids, they put the woman’s belongings out on the street, including the get-well gifts she had received during her hospital stay. By August, no tenants remained at 1214. The woman who’d had surgery found a new place, but her rent has doubled. She will be undergoing chemo and radiation for the next nine months and has thousands of dollars in unpaid hospital bills, most of which will likely not be covered by Medicaid. Martinez, who found another rental in Flatbush, says she walked past Planted Community Cafe a few weeks ago. Gendville, who was sitting under a rainbow Pride flag, waved at her manically. “Like you’re for queer rights,” Martinez seethes, “when you’re trying to displace a house with queer people in the middle of a pandemic, illegally.” There are now 50,000 impending evictions looming in New York. One result of the pandemic is that its devastation is so massive as to create a vast new contingent of housing militants. “Our thing is public shaming,” Imani Henry, the founder and lead organizer of Equality for Flatbush, told The Nation. Now he has an entire army of shamers at his disposal. Out-of-work New Yorkers are suddenly free to dedicate themselves to standing in a neighbor’s yard and screaming at a landlord. The Battle of 1214 Dean Street made it all the way to BoCoCa Parents, the Brooklyn Heights, Cobble Hill, and Carroll Gardens neighborhood listserv, prompting a call for a boycott of Gendville and Brooks-Church’s businesses. The landlords so far remain unrepentant. Brooks-Church told the New York Post he is being targeted as a white man. He declined to comment for this story; Gendville would say only that there was “no eviction.” In an email to outraged Area Yoga teachers, she sarcastically thanked them “for all of your judgments. Very yogic behavior!” She ended by saying that “I have to go back to ‘work’ … not everyone can sit around judging people and complaining all day.” The pair have also become coronavirus skeptics. Gendville has been spotted serving at both Planted cafés — there are two now — without a mask. She says she has antibodies. The brownstone at 2nd Street has anti-mask signs in its windows. Brooks-Church recently participated in a U.K.-based online discussion called “Corona Talks,” in which he was described as “outspoken against the civil-liberty issues the lockdown raises.” He has started a new company called Elixir Works, which offers a “delicious and powerful immune booster” containing everything from bee pollen to tree lichen. It costs $37.50 a week, with a monthly subscription. *This article appears in the August 31, 2020, issue of New York Magazine. Subscribe Now! Source: The Eco–Yogi Slumlords of 1214 Dean Street, Brooklyn

    Read at 02:09 pm, Sep 7th

  • AddyOsmani.com - Fast page labelling in Chrome for Android

    Fast page labelling in Chrome for Android In 2019, the Chrome team began to explore ideas for giving users transparency into pages that delivered a great user experience on mobile. Today I would like to talk about our first exploration into this space - "Fast page" labelling in Chrome for Android. Chrome on Android will begin to highlight high-quality user experiences on the web, starting with the labelling of fast links via the link context-menu. This is a widely used menu users see when long-pressing on a link (e.g to open a page in a new tab). This change will be rolling out starting in Chrome 85 Beta. "Fast page" labelling is based on signals from the Core Web Vitals metrics which quantify key aspects of users’ experience, as experienced by real-world Chrome users. The Core Web Vitals metrics measure dimensions of web usability including loading time, interactivity, and the stability of content as it loads, and define thresholds for these metrics to set a bar for providing a good user experience. Investing in these user-centric page quality metrics helps to drive usability improvements for users and helps businesses see increased engagement. Links to pages that have historically met or exceeded all metrics thresholds for the Core Web Vitals will be displayed with the new “Fast page” label. This is shown when a user long-presses a link prior to navigating to a page, and it indicates that most users navigating to it have a particularly good experience. "Fast page" labelling may badge a link as fast if the URL (or URLs similar to it) have been historically fast for other users who visited it. When labelling, historical data from a site’s URLs with similar structure are aggregated together. Historical data is evaluated on a host-by-host basis when the URL data is insufficient to assess speed or is unavailable, for example, when the URL is new or less popular. Labelling status is currently updated twice weekly and has a 28 day window. Our plan for "Fast page" labelling is to keep alignment with Core Web Vitals as they evolve, so that we are always labeling pages that have optimized against the metrics that are most representative of a user's overall experience. As noted, developers should expect the definitions and thresholds of the Core Web Vitals to remain stable, and updates to have prior notice and a predictable, annual cadence. Note: Chrome Beta for Android can be installed from the Play Store. Labelling has been rolled out to Chrome 85 beta, but if you would like to try labelling on Chrome for Android today, go to chrome://flags and enable Context menu performance info and remote hint fetching. Once fully rolled out, users will see labelling if they have Lite Mode or "Make Searches and Browsing Better" turned on. Next, navigate to any qualifying page, such as the Wikipedia page for the Internet, and long-press on any link. We anticipate that optimizing for the Core Web Vitals may require some investments in improving page quality. To help out, we updated our developer tools to surface information and recommendations: Lighthouse, DevTools, PageSpeed Insights, and Search Console team added a report dedicated to Core Web Vitals too. Note: Fast page evaluation is based on historical field-data from real-world Chrome users. To check if a page may get the label, consult sources of field information such as PageSpeed Insights (uses the Chrome UX Report), Search Console or RUM.. We believe the web serves an important role in our lives, and hope that "Fast page" labelling proves helpful to users who are on slow or spotty network connections. Over time, we may also experiment with labelling in other parts of Chrome's UI. Ultimately, our aim is to provide users with a healthy level of transparency into the experience they may have with a page. Chrome is committed to working with developers to ensure a thriving web, and the steps we take, such as the ones outlined above, are designed with these goals at heart. This is an expansion of a post shared on the Chromium Blog Source: AddyOsmani.com – Fast page labelling in Chrome for Android

    Read at 01:10 am, Sep 7th

  • How Teams Go Faster | benmccormick.org

    How Teams Go Faster I recently discovered John Cutler’s Twitter and blog. Everything I’ve read from him so far is excellent and highly recommended, but this table in particular felt like it was worth sharing. 13/13 Feels like fast ... is actually faster pic.twitter.com/c87USFeu6b — John Cutler (@johncutlefish) June 30, 2019 It’s amazing to me how unhelpful our intuition often is when we’re under pressure to speed up. I’ve observed clear examples of several of these items personally over the last several years. I’ve seen my team go significantly faster with less stress by shifting projects to being serialized with pairing and collaboration rather than giving everyone their own project I’ve watched attempts to get ahead on planning be thwarted by changing business priorities. This can be frustrating in the moment until you realize the problem is a planning process that can’t adapt to new information cleanly. I’ve been part of another team that doubled in size and then got cut back in half without much discernable impact in actual output over time. The most effective change my team has made this year has been de-emphasizing filling sprints in favor of being clear about what we’re trying to accomplish in the sprint. I don’t think we’ve gone far enough in that direction yet. Some items I’d add to John’s list: Manual QA / Deployments vs Test Automation as part of development Senior devs filling up on feature work vs Senior devs mentoring, enabling and unblocking other devs Source: How Teams Go Faster | benmccormick.org

    Read at 01:02 am, Sep 7th

  • Left-center unity in 2020 – Communist Party USA

    As a new member of the CPUSA, I’ve spent my first month attempting to understand how the Party works and what its plan for building socialism is. I’ve read the program and constitution, attended and watched recordings of webinars, read articles on cpusa.org and People’s World, watched the weekly YouTube videos, and participated in the Party’s Discord channel. As a newcomer I’ve noticed frustration and confusion among some members (especially new members) over how the Party leadership has expressed practical steps to implement our program. This became quite evident during Scott’s presentation for the National School on April 25, when he asked for questions about the first section and immediately received questions about Joe Biden. In Discord, sentiments about Joe Biden are strong, and there have been some serious debates about how the program should be implemented. Sometimes they’ve been productive, many times they have not. In the interest of unity, I’d like to lay out my understanding of the Party’s strategy, how I’ve seen leaders talk about the strategy, and some suggestions to make the way forward more clear for the whole membership. Our Party program lays out a long-term strategy to build socialism in the U.S. It identifies a trend that started in the 1980s with a section of the capitalist class who began to consolidate the far right. This far-right movement has developed over the last 40 years and is considered a major threat to our ability to continue pushing the struggle forward. For this reason, building a broad-based movement against the far right is paramount. With the success of this movement we will not only open up political space to move forward; in the process of defeating the far right, we will build the kind of anti-monopoly coalition needed to implement the next step, which is to wrest control of the government from the two dominant parties and make way for a labor-led people’s party. That party will then work to the task of building revolutionary socialism in the U.S. I joined the Party because of its long history in the struggle and its international ties with the world communist movement. When I read the program, I was inspired to see such a clear and well-constructed strategy. In my experience as an activist, I’d never seen a vision for the future spelled out so well and so grounded in dialectical materialism. With that in mind, I’ll move to why I think there is confusion in the ranks about practical implementation. I’ve seen it said many times that the Party should not be focused on individual candidates for president, and rather look at policies that resonate with the working class. I can generally agree with that sentiment; however, sometimes we need to understand how individual candidates fall within the framework of the left-center coalition. We’ve been getting a lot of mixed messages when it comes to Joe Biden: Our Party doesn’t endorse candidates who aren’t members of the CPUSA. We must defeat Trump in November. We must all vote. Third parties can act against left-center unity. Taken together, these messages raise the question: Who do we vote for in November? I’m not the only one who has read a subtext here and seen a tacit endorsement of Biden. I realize there’s a lot of time between here and the convention when Biden will likely be nominated. That gives us time to consider just where his career has placed him in the rise of the far right. The program says: In limited instances, splits in the ruling class appear and the less reactionary segments of the capitalist class will join the fight against the more backward sections. This all-people’s front to defeat the extreme right is in the process of developing, learning, and being tested in giant struggles: for peace, to address environmental crises, to protect social programs and services, to win health care for all, and to wrest control of all three branches of government from the stranglehold of the extreme right. Was Biden joining the fight when he raked Anita Hill across the coals? What about when he used his position as chair of the Foreign Relations Committee to champion Bush’s war on Iraq? Later in the program we see the Democrats grouped into two categories: There exists an internal struggle within the Democratic Party among centrist forces who collaborate with the right wing, centrist forces opposed to the right wing, and more progressive, even socialist, trends. Those opposed to the right wing are sometimes willing to align with progressive elements that seek to defeat the program of the extreme right. We see mention of unprincipled compromises Democrats have made: Since the early 1980s, the Republican Party, increasingly dominated by its extreme right wing, has controlled much of the national legislative agenda, while the leadership of the Democratic Party often ceded ground and initiative. Some Democrats openly collaborated with fossil fuel companies, and some engaged in unprincipled compromise with Republicans, with anti-people objectives such as “welfare reform” and “three strikes laws” that led to mass incarceration. When he authored the 1994 Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act, or “Crime Law,” he contributed directly to the mass incarceration our Party views as an unprincipled compromise. On top of compromising with the extreme right, in my estimation, Biden has been a collaborator with the extreme right. This is not just about his past. He has shown he will continue to collaborate when he released a fear-mongering YouTube ad titled “Unprepared.” The ad attacks Trump for being too soft on China, thereby allowing Chinese travelers to spread the virus to the U.S. With increases in hate crimes against Asian Americans over the course of the pandemic, Biden has demonstrated he will inflame the bigotry targeting that part of the working class. He has demonstrated he is willing to outdo Trump’s racist, fascistic tendencies from the right! We must recognize a Biden presidency as a continuation of the growth of the extreme right. If we’re not explicit in calling it what it is and continue a tacit endorsement of Biden, we might risk setting back our work to build a left-center coalition. When Chinese American workers see us overlook his attacks against their community, when women workers see us overlook the rape allegations against him, what will that do to the unity of the working class against fascism? I’m well aware that defeating the extreme right takes more than just beating Trump in November. It takes a wide range of movement-building tactics from multiple fronts. I’ll defer to the program with two choice phrases on how to beat the right: Members of the Communist Party work to strengthen the labor unions, civil rights, peace, youth, student, religious and other community organizations and social networks in which they participate. They promote the voice and effective participation and leadership of the working class in all struggles for progress. They promote unity with the allies of the working class in the course of fighting for the interest of the working class and common goals shared with a majority of the people of our country. Our members organize to build activism and leadership at the grassroots level. . . . To this end, the activities of the Communist Party aim to: Build broad unity to achieve the strategic and tactical goals of the working class. Bring forward working-class leadership and the interests of the working class in all progressive movements. National progressive coalitions, community-based organizations in working-class communities, and student-labor coalitions are all forms that bring working-class leadership to the broader movement. Build full class and socialist consciousness. It is the job of Communists, while engaged with others in active struggle, to show how all struggles have common aspects and common interests, to show the interests of organized labor and all the people’s movements in uniting against our common capitalist enemies. It’s my position that the Party must explicitly state we do not support Biden’s candidacy and direct the Party membership to pursue other avenues of resistance against the extreme right. The opinions of the author do not necessarily reflect the positions of the CPUSA. Image: Marysalome, Creative Commons (BY 2.0). Facebook Comments Plugin for WordPress: http://peadig.com/wordpress-plugins/facebook-comments/ Comments Source: Left-center unity in 2020 – Communist Party USA

    Read at 12:58 am, Sep 7th

Day of Sep 6th, 2020

  • Understanding Sinn Féin's Abstention from the UK Parliament

    Understanding Sinn Féin’s Abstention from the UK Parliament Sinn Féin Irish Republican abstentionism from the British Parliament has a long and complicated history. Arguably, the last few decades since the Good Friday Agreement have been some of the least consequential or controversial since the practise began. The 2017 election, the DUP’s entry into a confidence & supply agreement with the Conservative Party, and the backdrop of a Parliament unable to act upon the result of the Brexit referendum, has renewed interest in it. Sinn Féin’s decision not to take their seven seats in Westminster is causing consternation, particularly from those who wish to see the party enter Parliament and derail a no-deal or ‘hard’ Brexit. While debating the merits of abstentionism is an argument as old as the practise itself, it is worth understanding the context of why Sinn Féin do not take their seats, and why it is incredibly unlikely that they will do so any time soon. The modern Sinn Féin party (Gaeilge for ‘Ourselves Alone’) take their name and political legacy (with considerable dispute from other parties in Ireland) from the party formed by Arthur Griffith in 1905. This Sinn Féin acted as a vanguard movement for Republican aspirations in the 1918 general election. The Republican leadership of the time stood on a unified platform pledging to not take their seats were they to be successfully elected to Westminster in order to dislodge the more moderate Irish Parliamentary Party. In the wake of the First World War and the failed 1916 Easter revolution, Sinn Féin secured an enormous endorsement from the electorate winning 73 of the 105 seats. Crucially, this was tied with the pledge to set up an alternative Irish Parliament in Dublin, which of course they duly did, leading to the Irish War of Independence and subsequent creation of the Irish Free State in 1922. The long and troubled history of Ireland and Northern Ireland is too complex to get into here, but the relative success of the abstentionist policy ensured a Republican commitment to it, not just in Westminster, but for many decades in the partitioned Irish Parliaments in both Dublin and Belfast. At the height of the Northern Irish Troubles, the tactic received enormous attention again during the early 1980s. In 1981 Republican prisoners Bobby Sands and Kieran Doherty were elected to the London and Dublin Parliaments from prison on an abstentionist platform shortly before dying of hunger strike. These elections are crucial to understanding modern Sinn Féin’s commitment to abstentionism on an emotional and practical level, as it was in this period that they began to become an electoral force. The successes led to shift in focus by Sinn Féin and an attempt to integrate practical politics with the physical force campaign against the state being waged by the Provisional IRA. This became notoriously known as the ‘armalite and ballot box strategy’ but cleared a path for the party to enter into the political mainstream. Subsequent years saw Sinn Féin win seats in four Parliamentary bodies (Dublin, Belfast, Brussels and London), and drop the policy of abstentionism to all but Westminster. As the peace process played out in the late 1980s and 1990s Sinn Féin were able to reconcile their Republican principles with the Irish Parliament in Dublin and newly formed Northern Irish Assembly. By taking their seats, the Sinn Féin leadership recognised the legitimacy of these institutions and more importantly their ability to be political avenues to address the Republican cause without the need for violence. Their intransigent position on The House of Commons remained, however, due to their refusal to swear or affirm allegiance to a British monarch (which remains a prerequisite to taking a seat in Parliament). However, this refusal to take their seats has its roots in opposition to British rule in Ireland at the very base level. Abstentionism’s continuation at Westminster serves as an ideological link between Republicans today, and those who opposed taking their seats in a British Parliament over the past 100 years. Fast forward to the current Parliament and all things Brexit. The last election was the biggest seat return the modern Sinn Féin party has ever received to Westminster, as it successfully took three SDLP (moderate Irish Nationalist) seats. What is important to remember is that the SDLP’s platform explicitly makes the argument that they would be an Irish Nationalist voice at Westminster, willing to take their seats in order to better represent their constituents. There are a variety of issues at play in these elections, but this choice between active participation through the SDLP or abstentionism with Sinn Fein provides the latter with a strong electoral mandate for their position. The shift towards Sinn Fein within the Northern Irish Nationalist electorate reflects the polarisation of Northern Irish party politics over the last 20 years and was also seen on the Unionist benches. The more moderate UUP lost all of its representation to the DUP, who of course then found themselves as power brokers for Theresa May’s slim parliamentary majority. ‘Perfect timing to take their seats surely?’ For Sinn Féin, ‘no’. The Brexit context is completely coincidental to the voting arithmetic of Northern Irish seats in Parliament. Their pairing does have interesting parallels to the 19th-century alliances which formed between the Liberal/Conservative parties and the Irish Nationalist/Unionists respectively. Then, the two leading British Parties relied on support from the Irish Parliamentary Nationalist or Unionist benches in order to govern. The major point of contention between these alliances were the ‘Home Rule’ bills for an Irish Parliament in Dublin. The failure to pass (and later enact) this legislation contributed to the Republican rejection of Westminster route, a revolution, and the policy of abstentionism itself. Post-partition in the 20th century, there have been substantial periods when British Conservative Party has been in formal and informal alliances with UUP with little attention in Britain. Ultimately, however, it is worth remembering that it has been decades since Northern Irish members of Parliament of any persuasion have held the balance of power, and it has not been lost on Sinn Féin (or the DUP) that it may be decades before that happens again. This is the wider context which has been lost by those calling for Sinn Féin to take their seats to thwart Brexit. The debate on the legitimacy of the Westminster Parliament legislating on Irish interests predates Brexit and the backstop by several hundred years. There is a considerable amount of counter-arguments against the politics of abstentionism that are timeless, but Sinn Féin is committed to it with regards to Westminster precisely because of its successes in the past and their aims for the future. The mandate from the electorate that they receive is an abstentionist one, and Brexit only serves to underline their claims that Westminster is not able to deal appropriately with an Irish electorate’s interests. The inability to recognise Northern Ireland’s ‘remain’ vote in the referendum, or to pass legislation providing an acceptable solution to the border issue, reinforces Sinn Féin’s argument that this is a body indifferent to Ireland’s welfare. This is not an attempt to defend Sinn Féin’s politics or abstentionist practises, but it is a fact of life that Sinn Féin’s political priority is a re-unification border poll. Getting one relies on access to power in Dublin and opposing the British political system on a much more fundamental level than their 7 seats in a single Parliament would ever allow. It could even be cynically argued that Sinn Féin’s vision of a United Ireland would be at its most persuasive in the aftermath of a chaotic no deal Brexit. Asking Sinn Féin to take or forfeit their seats to stop Brexit does not go to the heart of why they are abstentionists in the first place. Further Reading Keogh, D. (2005). Twentieth-century Ireland: Revolution and State Building. New Gill History of Ireland. Boyce, D. (2004) Nineteenth-Century Ireland: The Search for Stability. New Gill History of Ireland. Evans, J., & Tonge, J. (2013). From Abstentionism to Enthusiasm: Sinn Féin, Nationalist Electors and Support for Devolved Power-sharing in Northern Ireland. Irish Political Studies, 28(1), 39-57. Murray, G., & Tonge, J. (2005). Sinn Féin and the SDLP: From Alienation to Participation. London: Hurst. Lonergan, A. (2017). Gerry Adams has confirmed that Sinn Féin will not be swearing allegiance to the Queen to take their seats in Westminster. The Irish Post. O’Toole, F. (2019). Ireland can stop a no-deal Brexit. Here’s how. Irish Times. Swan, S. (2018). Sinn Féin won’t drop its abstentionist policy over Brexit – and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. The London School of Economics Blog. Maskey, P. (2018). I’m a Sinn Féin MP. This is why I won’t go to Westminster, even over Brexit. The Guardian. Further Reading on E-International Relations About The Author(s) Conor Kelly is a PhD student at Birkbeck College, University of London focusing on Northern Irish political parties and European integration. He is a graduate of the MA in European Studies programme at Maastricht University and holds a BA (Hons) in History, Political Science & Sociology from the National University of Ireland, Galway. Editorial Credit(s) Marianna Karakoulaki, Meriam Mabrouk Source: Understanding Sinn Féin’s Abstention from the UK Parliament

    Read at 06:45 pm, Sep 6th

  • Nadia Eghbal | Not voting as a form of protest

    Sometime at the end of last year, I wondered about what it would look like to have a mass-organized abstention campaign. My interest in this topic was mostly casual, but in a moment of enthusiasm, I shared these thoughts on a mailing list with a bunch of creative politically-minded folks, looking for ideas and inspiration. While I did receive a few helpful resources, I was surprised to be mostly met with derision and skepticism. Critiques ranged from abstention being lazy or apolitical to a “vote for the other side.” A number of people reminded me, gently or not, of my civic duty to vote. I don’t think of abstention as markedly different from any other sort of civic engagement initiative. It’s true that many people don’t vote because they were just “too busy” or don’t think their vote matters, but not voting can also be a political stance, signifying dissatisfaction with the system. (25% of registered voters in the U.S. who didn’t vote in 2016 said they didn’t do so because they “didn’t like the candidates or campaign issues,” a figure that doubled from previous elections in recent years.) As an organized movement, abstention can make just as much of a statement as voting. Citizens could stage a walkout from elections, like going on strike but from their own country. Instead of the popular “I voted!” stickers, it’s “I didn’t vote.” There are examples of non-voting as a form of protest in Malta and Estonia, as well as an Irish abstentionist political party, Sinn Féin, that refuses to take its seats in UK Parliament. Political economist Albert Hirschman tells us that when faced with a decision that offers deteriorating quality of choice, people will respond with either voice (advocating for change from within) or exit (opting out of the system). Voting is, of course, “voice,” but characterizing abstention as apathy or laziness, rather than a form of civic engagement that rightfully probes at our ability to “exit,” seems uncharitable. I worry that our infatuation with voting sets the bar for civic engagement at an artificial place, which makes it difficult to discuss our political systems more comprehensively. Every tech platform runs ads encouraging its users to go out and vote, which are largely seen as uncontroversial, while some countries outside of the United States, like Australia and Singapore, have compulsory voting laws. I assume these things happen because platforms and governments alike think that asking people to vote is an inherently nonpartisan stance. But while asking people to vote might be nonpartisan on a per-election level, it discourages us from critically examining the system of voting itself, which has known problems, especially at scale. If not during an election cycle, while voting is top of mind for everyone, when is the right time to discuss these flaws? I’m not here to advocate that we don’t vote. To the best of my memory, I’ve even voted in every election I’ve been eligible to vote in. The reason I’m curious about this topic is because the idea of not voting seems to provoke a sort of digust and moral outrage that, say, democratic lotteries or liquid democracy, does not, even though these are arguably equally radical proposals (and certainly less mundane than abstention, which carries its own sort of unremarkable charm). Without leaving the problem space open for honest inquiry and exploration, it’s hard to imagine how our political systems—not just the players, but its underlying infrastructure—will evolve. Whether we continue to vote or not, I would like us to at least invite the idea of “not voting” as a form of peaceful protest into our shared toolkit, as we consider civic strategies that will help us create the world we want to see. Source: Nadia Eghbal | Not voting as a form of protest

    Read at 03:00 pm, Sep 6th

  • TypeScript is weakening the JavaScript ecosystem

    In recent months, I've noticed a dramatic increase in TypeScript packages on GitHub. I usually come across them when checking repositories of the people I follow like. Or, when I'm looking for dependencies to solve a problem in my projects. And the more TypeScript packages I'm encountering, the more often I get reminded of this little annoyance towards the project. My context is that I've not looked into TypeScript yet. That means I have no idea how it works. Unfortunately, this is now starting to become kind of a problem when searching for dependencies. It does, when I either willingly or accidentally include a TypeScript package into my projects. Mainly because my package-choosing criteria include: picking packages that I potentially can contribute to (e.g., a lesser-known package that contains well-written code); or picking packages that are well-maintained by a large community but may include code that I'd not be able to easily contribute to (e.g., a popular package using a C library internally) I've put these criteria in place willingly to achieve a certain quality standard when building applications. Either because I can fix bugs myself quickly, or because I'm able to rely on a strong community to fix them. However, with TypeScript packages in npm, there's now this opaque problem of not knowing the language or quickly telling a package's language and its community size. Also, TypeScript could be just another CoffeeScript. So essentially, the problem is that TypeScript authors publish their packages on npm, the package manager for Node.js. And to me, that's what is weakening the JavaScript ecosystem. Since its inception, and throughout trends like Coffeescript, npm has mostly held the promise of only hosting JavaScript packages. However, this promise is rejected() (lol) by many authors publishing their TypeScript-to-JavaScript transpiled packages. Indeed, it makes sense considering that Microsoft markets TypeScript as a "superset of JavaScript" and since it "compiles" to JavaScript, why not publish packages to npm? But in terms of equality and identity, TypeScript is not JavaScript. After all, you'd not consider C and Objective-C the same either, or would you? In both examples, the languages are subsets/supersets but were conceived with different goals in mind to solve other problems. Therefore, TypeScript authors should, in my opinion, do something along the following lines: namespacing their TypeScript packages; or build and publish their packages to their package manager. However, continuing to publish TypeScript packages to npm is, in my opinion weakening the JavaScript ecosystem as it's splitting its community and polluting the npm namespace. Controversy For a short time, there was an intense conversation on Hacker News. But for unknown reasons, my post got marked as [flagged]. I've written an email to the operators. Source: TypeScript is weakening the JavaScript ecosystem

    Read at 02:54 pm, Sep 6th